Montgomery and Tomball ISDs were both named finalists for the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards, the districts announced in January.

According to H-E-B, the awards are designed to honor outstanding public schools based on their commitment to student achievement through innovative programs, parent and community involvement, and professional development opportunities for teachers and administrators.

Montgomery ISD is one of three finalists in the small-district category with fewer than 10,000 students enrolled.

Superintendent Heath Morrison said in a Jan. 10 news release the nomination is an honor.

"I am so proud of our amazing educators and dedicated support staff who are supremely invested in the success of our students," he said in a statement. "This distinction reflects MISD's commitment to becoming the premier school district in Texas, achieving the goals set forth in the district's strategic plan."

MISD board President Matt Fuller echoed Morrison's statement.

"We appreciate the tremendous responsibility of educating our children and are united in our commitment to doing over very best to set our students up for success," he said in a statement.

Tomball ISD is one of five finalists in the large district category with more than 10,000 students enrolled.

The district is also a finalist in the outstanding school board category. According to a Jan. 9 news release, TISD is the only district named a finalist in both categories.

Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora said district officials are humbled and honored by the recognition.

“This recognition is a true testament to our commitment to educating all students at a high level, dedicating efforts to innovation, and making sure our families feel supported and cared for while we continue to experience fast growth,” she said. "We are focusing on creating endless opportunities for students as we know they will ‘lead in creating the future.’”

TISD is one of two districts within Montgomery and Harris counties to be named finalists in the largest district category. MISD is the only district in both counties to be named a small-district finalist.

According to both news releases, a panel of judges will visit each district and school boards to tour the campuses and speak with administrators, staff, parents and community members to determine the overall statewide winners,.

According to the TISD news release, the winning large district will receive $100,000 with the small district winning $50,000. State winners will be announced at the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards Ceremony on April 30 in San Antonio.