LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Amanda Howard, a teacher at Harmony Elementary School has been named the ExCel Award winner in Oldham County for 2015.

Howard, who has spent her entire nine year career at Harmony, is known for creating positive relationships with her students and parents.

The Oldham County ExCel is the last of 13 golden apple awards presented in eight school districts by WHAS-TV during the academic year.

Howard teaches is a classroom that is very near the front door of her school in North Oldham. Last spring she was given the job of converting the former mail room into a classroom.

The converted space makes for a cozy classroom and Howard says she now loves the space and wouldn't want to leave.

At today's presentation in the Harmony School gymnasium, Howard singled out her third grade teacher as the person who most influenced her to pursue a career in education.

That teacher, Linda Filippini, who taught at Dunn Elementary School in Jefferson County, said she was wiping away tears when her former student was given the ExCel.

Filippini said that even as a third grader, she realized that Howard was a special person.

Now a special teacher, Howard creates such a strong relationship with students that the month of June can be difficult as teacher and students say goodbye.

As the end of school approaches, she admits that she is proud to see students move on to another level but always cries as she waives goodbye as the final bus pulls away.

Amanda Howard and the other ExCel Award winners from 2014-15, will be honored in September at the ExCelebration, a dinner that brings all the winners together from a single school year.

The WHAS-TV ExCel also carries a $1,000 teacher grant that is presented by LG&E/KU. The next ExCel class, the 27th, will be inducted beginning this fall.