Posted Date: 06/05/2023
UISD’s Clark Middle School Principal Pamela Arredondo was selected a Statewide Semi-Finalist in the 2023 H.E.B. Excellence in Education Awards. She was chosen from 1,900 educators from around Texas and received an H.E.B. Certificate of Achievement signed by Chairman Charles Butt and a $500 gift card for the honor.
Only 150 teachers and 50 principals were selected as Semi-Finalists this year from nominations in Texas to compete in the regional judging process. The educators are judged on written comments submitted and professional accomplishments. Anyone can nominate an educator for this honor yearly. Arredondo does not know who nominated her, but she feels very grateful for the recognition. She shares her award with her staff and says they are the backbone of the school.
“I’m a team player. It comes back to my team. I know that it has my name on it, but the scores that we’ve done here at Clark Middle School and the growth that we’ve received, it’s all attributed to the campus. It comes back to the teachers doing what they need to do, and we’re on the sidelines. We’re the cheerleaders that keep them going and provide any support that they need,” says the H.E.B. winner.
Arredondo has been an educator for 18 years, 16 of those with UISD. She was a teacher for nine years, nine years as an administrator with the last four years of her career as the Principal of Clark Middle. She taught physical education and reading at United South Middle School. Born and raised in Falfurrias, Texas, she is a graduate of Falfurrias High School. She went to the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg and received a BA in Kinesiology. She graduated with a Masters from TAMIU in Education Administration.
The H.E.B. nomination is followed by an email to the educator notifying them and providing an application form to fill out. The educators must also provide a letter of recommendation. Then the screening process begins, which takes into account the demographics of the school, challenges, data and accomplishments. Clark Middle School is about 87% economically disadvantaged and has been showing much improvement.
“We had a lot of growth considering the Covid Pandemic, and last year’s scores gave us a true picture of where we are at currently. It’s a great campus. I like that it’s very small and very homey. We have less than 600 kids and 40 teachers, and it’s just a good place to be,” states the winning principal.
The educators also get a letter from H.E.B. which states, “In our minds, you are all winners, and so are your students. You are helping to shape the future of Texas, and we thank you for your passion and your dedication. You are an inspiration to us all.”