Some local teachers got a little extra recognition in their classrooms Monday.
H-E-B made surprise visits to five schools in Austin, Buda, Manor and San Marcos.
It was to announce the finalists for the 2014 H-E-B excellence in education awards, complete with balloons, flowers, cake, and some hefty cash prizes.
Six teachers and two principals will receive $1,000 checks for themselves.
Also, the teachers will get an additional $1,000 for their schools and the principals will get $2,500 for their schools.
One of the lucky winners Monday was Nicholas Solis, a 4th grade teacher at Hillcrest Elementary School. He was completely surprised when 80 people filled his classroom.
"I like to teach that it's more than a test. It's about learning the life skills and lessons that we're going to have, that's going to help them in life, later on in life. And that's what we're really shooting for. Just picking up those reading skills that are going to help them with anything they need, and math skills and writing skills and science and everything," Solis said.
Three more local educators will be surprised as finalists on Tuesday. All of these finalists are invited to compete for the chance to win bigger prizes, from $5,000 to $25,000.
The statewide winners will be announced in May.