Teachers aren't always recognized as much as they should be, but with the H-E-B, teachers across the state are being recognized for their hard work and dedication.

Monday morning J.P. Fugler was surprised by H-E-B representatives including H-E-Buddy, the grocery store's mascot, when he was received news that he was a finalist in "H-E-B's Excellence in Education” awards.

"It was a big surprise, and a great way to start a Monday, I feel very blessed," said J.P. Fugler, Excellence in Education award finalist

The H‑E‑B Excellence in Education Awards are designed to recognize outstanding professionals and thank them for their dedication and commitment.

Each year the states top teachers and schools are recognized and given prizes.

"I was presented with a $1,000 check for me personally which is nice, and then $1,000 for our school which goes a long way in helping providing us resources that are necessary," said Fugler.

Mr. Fugler will be invited to compete against other Texas educators for the chance to win greater cash prizes for himself and the school ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.

This isn't the first time J.P. has been a finalist for this award, he was a finalist in the same category three years ago.

Principal Valerie Payne had nothing but good things to say about J.P. and isn't shocked he's up for such a high honor.

"J.P is tremendously special, he is so energetic, so passionate about what he does, he works above and beyond. He is here nights, he travels all around to competitions... it's his enthusiasm for what he does, also as an instructor he is not driven by a single text book, he thinks outside the box. He tries to make the children's learning applicable to the children's lives," said Payne.

40 finalists across the state of Texas will be announced in May. H-E-B will be awarding over $95,000 to principals and teachers.