McKINNEY — Teachers work hard for our kids. They nurture and inspire and guide, and the classroom is rarely absent from their thoughts. There is always one more paper to grade, one more lesson to plan and one more parent to call. There are a thousand demands on their time, but they couldn’t imagine doing anything else. And what they do has a direct and vital impact on kids’ lives.

In light of all that they do and what they mean to our students, the McKinney Education Foundation (MEF) has created an award that gives parents and students an opportunity to recognize and thank inspiring teachers.

It’s called the STAR (Staff, Teacher Appreciation and Recognition) Award, and it’s a small but significant way to remind a teacher that he or she makes a difference each day.

For a tax-deductible donation of $20, members of the MEF Board of Directors will visit a teacher’s classroom and present him or her with a lapel pin and a STAR Award certificate that includes a personal note from the parent and/or student. Click here to view the form.

“We wanted a way to help families and students recognize their teachers and staff in a meaningful, special way,” said MEF Executive Director Edie Heinicke. “It has been a privilege to make these special presentations to very deserving faculty members.”

Since its inception in December, the program has kept Heinicke and her staff busy. Thus far, they’ve made about 60 classroom visits to present STAR Awards.

And while, teachers don’t typically start out on the career path looking for praise and accolades, heartfelt feedback can certainly provide fuel for the journey regardless of how long you’ve been on it.

Here is a sampling of what kids and parents have been saying about and to their teachers through their STAR Awards:

  • “She cares for all of her students, and it shows every day.”
  • “You are the kindest person I have ever met.”
  • “You make learning fun and meaningful. You go above and beyond to encourage me to do my best and make me feel special, successful and important.”
  • “She’s the greatest, she has a sweet heart, she has nice clothes, hair and helps me be a better kid.”
  • "I think you're a star because you treat all of your students as your own. Thank you for your compassion and hard work to bring the best out of them!!!"

The McKinney Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that serves four core areas for McKinney ISD by providing classroom grants, professional development grants, scholarships for graduating seniors and by placing college and financial advisors on each high school campus. Visit to learn more.

For additional information on McKinney ISD, contact Shane Mauldin, MISD Communications Coordinator, at 469-302-4007 or


About McKinney ISD

One of the fastest growing school districts in Texas, the McKinney Independent School District currently enrolls more than 24,750 students in 20 elementary schools, five middle schools, three high schools, four alternative schools and one early childhood education school. The mission of McKinney ISD, the champion for progressive learning throughout the diverse McKinney community, is to inspire and equip all students to explore, develop and express their unique potential as innovators, critical thinkers and collaborators through challenging, engaging and diverse learning experiences in vital partnership with the community. Visit the district's website at

About the McKinney Education Foundation

The McKinney Education Foundation (MEF) is a non-profit education foundation that serves four core functions: scholarships, college applications, teaching enrichment and alumni relations.  It was founded in 1991 to centralize, simplify and enhance the process of raising money for and awarding scholarships to deserving graduates of the McKinney Independent School District (MISD).  MEF employs professional college advisors in each high school who assist students in preparing for higher education admissions and identifying additional individual education funding. MEF also offers Classroom and Professional Development grants for MISD staff. Contribute to the Mission: “To provide the highest quality of education in McKinney, Texas, our mission is to inspire students and teachers towards excellence in education. We envision a future where a passion for learning unleashes the full potential of our community.” For more information visit