LUBBOCK, Texas — On Tuesday, The United Family and Mrs Baird’s Bread® announced the September winners of their eleventh annual Teachers On The Rise program.

According to a press release from The United Family, the winners were April Sauceda of Waters Elementary (Lubbock ISD), Veronica Valdez of Dunbar College Preparatory Academy (Lubbock ISD) and Andrew (AJ) Heston of Lubbock-Cooper High School (Lubbock-Cooper ISD).

The winning teachers received a $100 United Supermarkets gift card, lunch for two to the Texas Tech Club and a gift box full of Mrs Baird’s goodies.

The students who nominate a winning teacher received a $50 American Express gift card.

“We want to congratulate all of our teachers and students who were a part of this first round of winners,” said Nancy Sharp, corporate engagement director for The United Family in the press release. “There are so many teachers who are deserving of recognition in our communities. With the whole year ahead of us, we encourage everyone to keep nominating!”

The United Family said nominations poured in from students and families across the South Plains explaining the ways their teacher(s) go above-and-beyond the call of duty and why they deserve special recognition.

“This has been a tremendous start for the Teachers On The Rise program so far,” said Shane Sumrow, the program’s director in the press release. “Through these nominations, we have already heard countless testimonials about the great things teachers are doing in our classrooms. We select three winners every month, so we encourage students to re-enter their teachers if they didn’t win and try to be as detailed as possible on why teachers deserve special recognition.”

If you would like to nominate a teacher from your school, visit

Teachers On The Rise is sponsored by the Texas Tech Club.