Local educator wins principal of the year

HARLINGEN — She’s done it again.

Or, as Principal Irma Davis would say, Dishman Elementary’s done it again.

Davis has just been named principal of the year by the 18th annual H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards in Austin.

“I was super elated, super proud again of everything that we have been able to accomplish,” she said.

Earlier this month H-E-B announced statewide winners for the 18th annual H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards during an awards ceremony at the Fairmont Hotel in Austin. During the ceremony, H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt handed out $430,000 in cash awards and grants, and congratulated eight educators, two school districts, one early childhood agency and a public school board for being among the best in Texas.

Two principals were recognized. One of them was Laura Gomez of South Houston Intermediate at Pasadena ISD. The other was Davis. Each received a $10,000 check for themselves and a $25,000 grant for each of their schools.

The previous day, Davis had spoken to a panel of judges about Dishman’s progress.

“I spoke to the fact that eight years ago we were in the low performing at the lower quarter of the 17 elementary campuses,” she said. “I spoke to the journey that we took to get to our performance where we’re at right now at the highest level.”

She spoke to a number of successes by teachers, staff and students over the past few years.

“We’re all focused about being first as I told the panel,” she said. “We were named to the Texas Honor Roll.

“That was in 2017. We earned that award again in 2018, the first elementary school in Harlingen to earn that award twice.”

The Texas Honor Roll, also known as the Educational Results Partnership Honor Roll, is sponsored by the Institute for Productivity in Education. Dishman was also one of 24 Texas schools recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2018.

How did she do it?

“Dishman has been prescriptive and strategic to meet student needs and to ensure their academic success,” she has said. “We teach and instruct children to their needs.”

Superintendent Art Cavazos congratulated her.

“Harlingen CISD was super excited by H-E-B’s announcement recognizing Dishman Elementary Principal Irma Davis for her leadership and ongoing commitment to public education,” he said.

“Along with the National Blue Ribbon School distinction by the U.S. Department of Education, Dishman Elementary educators, staff, and leaders such as Ms. Davis continue to make HCISD proud while inspiring lifelong learners.”


About the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards

H-E-B launched the awards program in cooperation with the Texas Association of School Administrators in 2002 as a way to support public education in Texas. It has become the largest monetary program for educators in the state, spotlighting best practices and celebrating the passion and creativity of Texas educators.

H-E-B asks customers, partners (employees) and community members to nominate teachers, principals, districts, early childhood facilities and school boards in Texas. Each nominee is sent an invitation to complete an application online and is asked about their professional experiences, educational philosophies and achievements both in and out of the classroom.

A team of judges reviews the applications, narrowing the field to semi-finalists. From that pool, five regional judging panels comprised of former winners, administrators, and university and community leaders not affiliated with H-E-B select 40 teacher and principal finalists. Finalists and their schools receive a cash prize of $1,000 to $2,500, depending on category.