Teachers may well be the most important factor in the successful education of children, but past conversations with local educators leave little doubt about the most critical asset after that: Principals. With this in mind, we award high marks to Texas billionaire Charles Butt, head of H-E-B, for his $100 million investment in an institute whose mission is training our state’s stellar campus principals and top superintendents of tomorrow.

Building on initiatives that Butt has already put in motion through his remarkable and sustained philanthropy, the Holdsworth Center will focus on developing leadership traits with a goal of inspiring teachers and improving student outcomes. This magnificent gesture comes at a time when public schools in particular are under unrelenting attack, both by our federal and state lawmakers.

Butt’s latest gesture is typical of a business empire that itself has long been a tremendous corporate neighbor.