Superintendent Cindy Marten (seen here in a file photo) attended the announcement in Washington, D.C. along with other local school officials.
The most improved urban school district in the nation was announced Wednesday as the recipient of the prestigious Broad Prize.
San Diego Unified School District was one of the four school districts across the country in the running.
However, the finalist announced Wednesday was Houston Independent School District (HISD), the largest public school system in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States.
He also credited Bill Kowba for his work as superintendent of San Diego schools during a difficult economic time following Grier's resignation.
Houston will receive $550,000 in college scholarships for high school seniors. Each of the finalists will receive $150,000 in scholarships.
Check back for updates on this developing story.