BellXcel Names 2022 Educator of the Year,
Heather Burns, coordinator of early childhood education and curriculum support for the East Central Independent School District.

Each year, BellXcel evaluates a large pool of educators nationwide to acknowledge a single outstanding educator dedicated to helping children reach their full potential. The award recognizes an educator who best exemplifies BellXcel's core values of excellence, learning, respect, courage and collaboration.

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert, Ed.D., CEO of BellXcel, presented the Educator of the Year award to Heather Burns during a surprise visit to the San Antonio school district office earlier this month.

"It is my great honor to present Heather Burns with the award for Educator of the Year," said Dr. Sanchez Gilbert. "The resounding feedback from her colleagues highlighted Heather's unwavering commitment to creating optimum learning environments and outcomes for the students of the East Central Independent School District. We are honored to recognize the impact she is making."


"Great educators are vital to strengthening communities and building our future. BellXcel looks forward to celebrating their hard work through its Educator of the Year award," Dr. Sanchez Gilbert added. 

During Burns' tenure at the ECISD, she's built both student curriculum and educator-focused systems. She works with multiple departments within the district, as well as external partners on early childhood education, summer programming and teacher appraisals. She's been invited to speak at the Texas State Capitol as a voice for early childhood education and has had several districts and organizations reach out to her to bring staff members into the ECISD to observe programs she manages.


"Heather is a results-oriented leader who works diligently to ensure successful outcomes for all students in ECISD," said Jennifer Kasper, director of curriculum and instruction at East Central Independent School District. "She collaborates with members across various departments to provide comprehensive support and to leverage systems that guarantee long-term positive impact across the district."

Established in 1949, East Central Independent School District's core business is growth, vision and mission for every student, every school, every day. Committed to quality education, ECISD strives to promote a positive school climate that optimizes teaching and learning in accordance with the values of its community.  Creating dynamic problem-solvers for a diverse, global economy through an engaging curriculum is of paramount importance to ECISD, which has a current enrollment of more than 10,000. For more information, visit

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