Jane Smith is one of five finalists in Texas eligible to win the H-E-B Lifetime Achievement Award after being nominated by Centennial Principal Alicia Maphies in the fall.
The Lifetime Achievement Award salutes teachers with more than 20 years of experience and makes Smith and Centennial eligible to win $25,000 each.
Centennial High School Principal Dr. Alicia Maphies explained that she nominated Smith because she is consistently enthusiastic, energetic, creative and collaborative.
“She builds strong and meaningful relationships with her students while pushing them to succeed in very challenging content,” Dr. Maphies said. “Mrs. Smith’s creativity and varying activities keep her students interested and engaged on a daily basis. She is continually dynamic in her teaching and recurrently helps her students transfer their learning outside the four walls of the classroom.”
As a Pre-AP and AP Chemistry teacher with over 35 years of experience, Smith is in awe of the current generation of students.
“This generation is interested in the world around them. They understand that we are all very connected globally,” Smith said. ”I think they are very accepting of each other and that’s really cool.”
Smith and her students were surprised by a visit during fourth-period when she and the campus were each presented with a $1,000 check.
“My students and I were working on a warmup when the door opened and Dr. Maphies walked in and was soon followed by another assistant principal, a media team and someone dressed as the HEB mascot, Buddy the bag,” Smith said.
“It was quite the moment. I was speechless,” Smith said. “And it takes a lot to make me speechless!”
Smith will not be speechless for long. She is preparing for a 40-minute interview the first weekend in May by a statewide panel of judges who will then select the H-E-B Lifetime Achievement winner.
Winners will be announced at the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards ceremony on May 5 at the Fairmont Hotel in Austin.
Smith plans to spend her current winnings traveling with her husband this summer along Europe’s Adriatic Coast through Italy Slovenia and Croatia.
H-E-B launched the Excellence in Education Awards program in cooperation with the Texas Association of School Administrators in 2002 as a positive 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. To learn more about the award and the process go here.
Winner or not, Jane Smith is a winner for Frisco ISD and its students.