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H-E-B Chairman is 'Friend of the Year' to Public Schools

DALLAS -- H.E. Butt Grocery Co. chairman and c.e.o. Charles Butt yesterday was honored with the first Texas Public Schools "Friend of the Year" Award for his commitment to, and support of, public education in Texas.

Colleen Barrett, president of Southwest Airlines, presented the award to Butt at a special reception hosted here on behalf of Friends of Texas Public Schools, a group that aims to boost the public's confidence in public schools by celebrating their success and driving improvement.

"We are plagued with the myth that Texas public schools are some sort of disaster," said Butt, upon accepting the award. "Ill-informed, irresponsible comments like this upset us all and it's exciting to see Friends speak out on the schools' behalf. I respect greatly [the group's] accepting the challenge of showing Texas that education is an investment, not a cost, that our schools represent a resource, a strength, an opportunity -- not a burden."

While criticism of our public schools is plentiful, according to Scott Milder, president and cofounder of Friends, celebration of their success is largely nonexistent. "The work Mr. Butt and H-E-B do to celebrate public education in Texas through its Excellence in Education Program and others reflects the positive energy we believe is so desperately needed in our public schools," he said.
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