3 NISD educators are the best in Texas

3 NISD educators are the best in Texas

One Northside ISD principal and two teachers are state finalists in the 2022 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards.

The surprise announcements were made this week by Superintendent Dr. Brian Woods and H-E-B representatives.


Dr. Lisa Baker, Principal, Communications Arts High School

Lacy Greco, Teacher, Leon Springs Elementary School

Jose Garay, Teacher, Valley Hi Elementary School


Communications Arts High School Principal Dr. Lisa Baker thought her Broadcast Journalism students invited Superintendent Dr. Brian Woods for an interview on the District’s bond proposal. With the cameras rolling, she soon learned that wasn’t the whole story. 

Baker is a finalist in the “Secondary Principal” category. She has been the principal at Communications Arts since 2016. Previously she served as vice principal at Northside Alternative HS, assistant principal at O’Connor HS, and as a special education teacher. Prior to becoming an educator, she was an accountant at a Fortune 500 company. She earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Texas at San Antonio.


Lacy Greco was ready to be interviewed for what she thought was a District video segment called “Choose Northside.” She burst into tears as District leaders, HEB staff, and her family appeared in her classroom.

Greco is a finalist in the “Leadership Elementary” category which honors teachers with more than 10 years of experience. She is currently a Gifted and Talented (GT) teacher at Leon Springs ES. Previously she was a STEM Lab teacher at Brauchle ES and a classroom teacher at Franklin and Westwood Terrace elementary schools. She has spent her entire 14-year career in Northside ISD and was honored as the District’s Elementary Educator of the Year in the 2018-19 school year.


With the entire school gathered in the Valley Hi Elementary School gym, Jose Garay thought Dr. Woods was coming to speak about the upcoming NISD school bond proposal. He was even prepared to show the District’s leader his STEM Lab. Instead, he was shocked to learn the assembly had everything to do with him.

Garay is a finalist in the “Rising Star- Elementary” category, which honors teachers with less than 10 years of experience. He is in his tenth year of teaching and is currently the STEM Lab teacher at Valley Hi. He previously taught fifth grade and third grade at the school. He was also Valley Hi’s elementary computer technologist (ECT) for eight years before earning his teaching degree. He served in the same capacity in Southwest ISD for a decade. He was honored as the District’s First Year Educator of the Year his first year of teaching.


The state finalists were each awarded money for themselves and their schools.

They are among 40 finalists in the state. Nominations were submitted earlier this year by H-E-B customers, employees, and community members and a team of judges narrowed the field to the finalists. Later this spring they will be interviewed by a panel of judges before the grand prize winners are announced.

The H-E-B awards program was launched in 2002 in cooperation with the Texas Association of School Administrators to honor outstanding educators. Northside ISD was named best district in the state in 2005, the first year awards were bestowed on districts.