Employers for Education Excellence
The Employers for Education Excellence (EEE) award was established in 2007 by the Texas Legislature. Its purpose is to recognize Texas employers that encourage and support employees who actively participate in school activities and promote volunteerism in the public schools.
The State Board of Education (SBOE) will select employers that meet the criteria for bronze, silver, or gold levels of recognition. The employer selected for an award will receive a certificate that includes their level of recognition. Certificates will be mailed to each awardee and the recognition is valid for three years.
Any Texas employer is eligible to win the award, including private companies, nonprofit organizations, and state, local, federal, and educational entities.
Three Levels of Recognition
Employers are eligible to receive one of three levels: Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award. Eligibility for recognition is based upon the business meeting the following criteria for any of the three levels:
Bronze-level award recognizes an employer that implements a policy to encourage and support employees who attend parent-teacher conferences during regular work hours.
- Has a policy or procedure that allows employees to attend parent-teacher conferences during regular work hours.
- Maintains records that show evidence that employees attended parent-teacher conferences, or provides a signed letter from the human resources director or president/chief executive officer confirming that employees may attend parent-teacher conferences during business hours.
Silver-level award recognizes an employer that meets the requirements of bronze, and implements a policy to encourage and support employees who volunteer in school activities.
- Has a policy or procedure which tracks employees' volunteer hours. Maintains records that show evidence that employees attended parent-teacher conferences or took part in school volunteer activities, or provides a signed letter from a supervisor confirming this participation.
- At least 1% of the employer's workforce with school-age children attends parent-teacher conferences or takes part in volunteer activities on an annual basis.
Gold-level award recognizes an employer that meets the requirements of silver, and implements a policy to encourage and support employees who participate in student mentoring programs in schools.
- Has a policy or procedure that allows employees with school-age children to attend parent-teacher conferences, take part in school activities, or participate in student mentoring activities during regular work hours.
- Establishes a mentoring program in partnership with a local school or district for employees to meet and mentor students with the goal of promoting academic success and social interaction. Structured mentoring activities may include traditional one-to-one, group, team, or online mentoring and should be built around regular, frequent contact.
- Has a designated employee who oversees internal coordination of the mentoring program. Has a policy or some procedure which tracks employees' volunteer hours and mentoring activities.
- Maintains records that show evidence that employees attended parent-teacher conferences, took part in school volunteer activities , or participated in student mentoring activities, or provide a signed letter from a supervisor confirming the participation.
- At least 1% of the employer's workforce participates in mentoring activities for a minimum of one year (or school year) commitment.
Nominations are accepted each year. The commissioner of education or his designee reviews the nominations and makes recommendations for the award recipients. The recommendations are reviewed by the chair of the State Board of Education.
To nominate an employer, completely fill out the Employers for Education Excellence application form. Include the level of recognition (bronze, silver, or gold) that best fits the employer's qualifications based on the criteria mentioned above.
Application for next year's award is on-going. To submit, please use the link for the application form above. Recipients of this award are notified as the information becomes available. They are being recognized with a plaque and a resolution during a State Board of Education meeting in Austin, TX in January or in April. Winners need not be present to receive the award but are encouraged to come. If unable to attend, the plaque and resolution are mailed directly to the employers or to their partner school or district.
Seven organizations earn 2019 Employers for Education Excellence award
(Left to right): Nicholas Hilton of Dallas Fire-Rescue Dept.-Silver; Sherri Hull of Southwest Airlines-Gold; Gabrielle Madison of Thomson Reuters-Bronze; Helen Haman of Accenture-Silver; Jeff Civins and Jennifer Littlefield of Haynes and Boone Law Firm-Gold; Cheri and Vic Vaughan of Toyota of Boerne-Gold; not in picture, Pricewaterhouse Coopers-Bronze
The State Board of Education (SBOE) today announced that seven organizations have earned the 2019 Employers for Education Excellence award for their support of parents and Texas schools.
“Strong schools are built in partnership with the support of active parents and local employers. These seven employers have shown again and again that they are strong supporters of their local public schools. They make special provisions so that their employees can attend parent-teacher conferences, mentor students, and participate in other volunteer activities,” said SBOE Chair Keven Ellis.
Created in 2007 by legislation, the award recognizes three levels of support – gold, silver, and bronze. Three employers this year earned the gold award. Two employers earned the silver award, and two earned the bronze award.
Award recipients received a plaque and a copy of the resolution passed by the board in their honor today.
Gold level awards
Toyota of Boerne
Shortly after opening its doors in 2008, family-owned Toyota of Boerne established a strong relationship with the Boerne Independent School District (BISD). It has helped BISD’s automotive courses; the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program; and its FFA chapter by donating cars and auto parts. For example, it has donated a new Toyota Tundra truck every 5,000 miles to support the FFA program. The dealership also provides a $10,000 award to the district’s Teacher of the Year program. Employees have donated more than 300 hours of volunteer time to the district and the company maintains a policy that allows parents to attend parent-teacher conferences during regular work hours.
The remaining six award recipients are involved in Dallas ISD’s P-Tech program. P-Tech stands for Pathways in Technology Early College High School. As part of the program, students choose a career pathway and take courses that provide the academic, technical and workplace skills needed to succeed in that profession.
Southwest Airlines partners with North Dallas High School’s P-Tech program in which employees host onsite tours at Southwest facilities and go into the classroom to teach essential skills. The company has an award-winning Adopt a Pilot program that sends aviators into classrooms from February to May to provide aviation-themed lessons that are used to supplement math, science, geography, writing and other core subjects. A “freedom to flex” policy allows employees to adjust their hours to attend parent-teacher conferences. Southwest encourages volunteerism through its “Tickets for Time” program in which for every 40 hours of volunteer work with a non-profit entity, the airline provides a free roundtrip ticket to that organization. Volunteer hours are still being tallied for 2019 but in 2018, Southwest donated more than 50,000 tickets through this program.
Haynes and Boone, LLP
The Dallas-office of the Haynes and Boone law firm works to encourage and develop diverse talent through its pipeline committee which engages with students from middle school through college. Its working parents committee strives to create a family-friendly culture that has developed flextime and remote workplace opportunities to allow parents to participate in school activities, such as parent-teacher conferences and mentoring programs during business hours. The firm collaborates with Dallas ISD’s L.G. Pinkston High School’s law practicum and is an industry partner with the Pinkston P-Tech Collegiate Academy. It regularly hosts students at its Dallas office, provides mentoring and training, such as resume writing. It also provides a program that introduces the practice of law to middle school students at Uplift Education, a charter school.
Silver level awards
Accenture, a professional services company in Irving, is a recipient of the silver EEE award. It is a signature industry partner at Dallas ISD’s Seagoville High School and is actively engaged in mentoring activities with P-Tech students. For two years, Accenture employees have partnered with Marriott hotels on its Bridges from School to Work program, which helps prepare young people with disabilities for employment. The company has developed a global culture that supports volunteerism. One of its many programs is called Dollars for Doers in which people who volunteer for 25 or more hours in one year earn a grant for their non-profit partner.
Dallas Fire-Rescue Department
The Dallas Fire-Rescue Department is a partner with several Dallas ISD P-Tech programs. The department provides speakers who mentor students and who explain the work of first responders. It also sponsors a Fire-Rescue Explorers troop in which students ages 14-20 gain basic knowledge about the fire service, including emergency medical services, fire behavior, personal protection equipment, and extinguishing agents. The department offers show-and-tell station tours and provides numerous educational presentations tailored to school or student groups.
Bronze level awards
Thomson Reuters, a global professional services company with offices in Carrollton, is a signature industry partner with Dallas ISD’s North Dallas High School where it is actively engaged in mentorship activities. The company encourages additional community involvement by providing 16 hours of volunteer time per year that employees can use to attend their children’s school events. Employees who donate 20 hours of volunteer time can earn a $500 grant for schools or other community groups and those who donate 40 hours of time can earn a $1,000 grant for organizations.
Pricewaterhouse Coopers, a professional services company with offices in Dallas, is an industry partner in the James Madison High School P-Tech program in Dallas ISD. Employees volunteer on the campus and assist with career development and mentoring activities. The company’s flex time option can be used to provide staff members with 10 hours per year of discretionary volunteer time, which can be used to support school activities. A compressed work schedule option is also available to employees, which gives them more time to be involved in area schools.
Past EEE Winners
The following links will take you to archived press releases announcing EEE winners: