09:39 AM

Alumna Selected as Finalist for Excellence in Teaching Award

Debbie Williams, a life skills teacher at Swenke Elementary, is being recognized for her dedication to children and education. She was recently surprised at school by a representative from HEB who was on hand to inform her she was selected as a regional finalist for the Excellence in Education Rising Star Teaching Award.

The HEB Excellence in Education Awards celebrate public school professionals whose leadership and dedication inspire a love of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities.

Williams is among 30 regional Rising Star Teaching Award finalists to be presented with a $1,000 check, plus an additional $1,000 check to her campus. State winners will be announced at the HEB Excellence in Education Awards ceremony on May 3, 2013 at the Hilton Hotel in Austin. One elementary and one secondary teacher will each receive a $5,000 cash prize, plus a $5,000 grant for his or her school.

"Debbie Williams is truly an exceptional teacher and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this honor," said Swenke principal Elizabeth Miller. "Her classroom is child-centered and every student feels loved, respected and important. Each child, regardless of the severity of his or her disability, is a valued member and Debbie encourages and celebrates the smallest to largest victory."

Miller added that Williams' work ethic and selflessness make her invaluable to those she works with and for.

"She always goes above and beyond, whether it is finding ways to help her students learn, creating materials to maximize their strengths, or her willingness to lend a hand, share her knowledge or brainstorm strategies with others," Miller said. "She is truly an asset to our school, her students and their families and our district."

Williams was selected last year as the Spot Light Teacher, or Teacher of the Year, for Swenke Elementary.

debbiewilliams Melissa Ludwig, on behalf of HEB, presents Swenke life skills teacher Debbie Williams with a $1,000 check for being selected as one of 30 regional finalists for the Excellence in Education Rising Star Teaching Award.