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Dawson’s Gano named statewide finalist in H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards

Diana Gano, AP Chemistry teacher at Glenda Dawson High School, was recently named a finalist in the 2023 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards, along with seven other educators, being spotlighted as one of the best educators in Texas.

The news was delivered as a surprise to Gano in the middle of class, when she was presented with a $1,000 check for herself and another $1,000 for her school.

A teacher at Pearland ISD since 2005, Gano has taught Chemistry and Engineering I and II at Pearland High School and PAP Chemistry, AP Chemistry and served as the Science Department Chair at Dawson High School.

With 21 years serving as an educator, Gano loves seeing students experience learning something new in the classroom.

“What I love about teaching is seeing the ‘aha’ moments in students’ eyes when they get a concept or learn the science behind something they've seen all their lives,” she said. “I love when students tell me that Chemistry has become their favorite class. I love when they come ask me questions that show their curiosity and wonder about the world around them.”

According to Dawson High School Principal, Erin Hamann, what makes the school so special is its teachers and Gano is one of the first ones to come to mid.

 “Gano has served in leadership positions since we first became a school and presents herself as a professional in every sense of the word. She has consistently modeled passion for student success intertwined with incredibly high curriculum standards to allow our students to flourish,” he said.  “Mrs. Gano takes abstract chemistry concepts and creates a variety of hands-on lessons to connect to a diverse group of students. As a staff member, Mrs. Gano supports her peers without being asked regularly - whether it be to cover a meeting, teach a class, make copies, or serve as a mentor, Mrs. Gano is quick to step up and fill a need.”

Along with all other finalists, Gano will attend H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards ceremony on Sunday, April 30, at the La Cantera Resort and Spa in San Antonio. She will be competing in the Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes teachers with more than 20 years of experience. If selected as a winner, she will receive $25,000 in cash for herself and a $25,000 grant for Dawson High School.

About the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards

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.

After nomination by H-E-B employees and community members, educators complete an application online about their professional experience, educational philosophies and achievements both inside and outside the classroom.

After two rounds of judging, 40 teacher and principal finalists are named.

Later this spring, a statewide judging panel will conduct personal interviews with Gano and other finalists to choose the winners.