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'They become better people, not just students and scholars': Crosby Middle music teacher receives ExCel Award

Joseph Stivers recognized the importance of the arts during the pandemic and how music can be critical during difficult times

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — WHAS11 and LG&E and KU recognize teachers in the community who go above and beyond to set their students on the right track. Today, a music teacher at Crosby Middle School is spotlighted for his relationship building with students, even amid a pandemic.

Joseph Stivers was surprised with the ExCel Award during a Zoom meeting filled with friends, family and coworkers. The music teacher said he was surprised and humbled by the award.

"I'm still trying to fish for some words but I'm full of joy, because my story is about relationships formed with our community and that being celebrated today," Stivers said.

Stivers was able to recognize the healing power of the arts and self-expression during such a difficult time for students, using the pandemic to focus on building stronger bonds.

Though Zoom has caused a communication problem for some, Stivers' coworkers said he has made the best of the situation, continuing to connect with his students.

"I think defining my 'why' is just, again, the relationships I build with my students," Stivers said. "That they become better people, not just students and scholars, but that they become better people. That they can, years from now, look back on their Crosby experience and say they have become a better person through the opportunities we provided and just loving on them."

On behalf of WHAS11 and LG&E and KU, congratulations to Mr. Joseph Stivers of Crosby Middle school on his ExCel Award.

RELATED: 'I want to give them a reason to engage': Farnsley Middle School math teacher wins ExCel Award

RELATED: Shelby County High School teacher honored with ExCel Award

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