McAuliffe MS Principal, Ms. Roxie Freeman, got quite the surprise this morning during what she thought was a pep rally for new Superintendent Dr. Jeanette Ball. Little did she know that HEB representatives were there to surprise her with the announcement that she was a finalist for the 2023 Excellence in Education Awards. It was an emotional and uplifting ceremony for students, staff, and Ms. Freeman’s family who also showed up for the surprise. Ms. Freeman was presented with a $1,000 check for herself and a $2,500 check for her school. Created in 2002, the HEB Excellence in Education Awards are designed to honor outstanding public school professionals and to thank them for their dedication and commitment. All finalists will be invited to compete against other educators for the chance to win greater cash prizes ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.