LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- Kindergarten teacher Anna Pfister is the first WHAS-TV ExCel Award winner for the new academic year. 

Pfister was honored in a presentation on Dec. 9 at Eisenhower Elementary School in Jefferson County.

Pfister, who is 30-years-old, began her teaching career as a substitute at Eisenhower eight years ago. She had just graduated from Union University in Jackson, Tenn.

Her work as a substitute was so outstanding that fellow teachers began urging Principal Julie Cummings to hire Pfister as a full-time staff member. Cummings made the hire and says it's was a great decision.

The teacher, who nominated Pfister for the ExCel, says that Anna exemplifies excellence. She is called a master at the craft of teaching.

In the weeks just before Christmas, almost all of the 5-year-olds in this year's class are already reading. Pfister said her high expectations for her students is surprising to parents, who are quickly enlisted in the learning process.

Pfister takes every opportunity to engage parents from the beginning of the school year. Her Kindergarten camp in late summer, prepares students and parents for the new experience of the classroom.

It means the imprint of the new ExCel Award winner is far reaching in the Jefferson County School District and in the community.

Pfister is also recognized as a leader among staff members and a support for new teachers who come to Eisenhower.

Anna Pfister's ExCel is the first of 13 awards to be presented to outstanding public school teachers during the coming year in eight school districts. The next award is Dec. 17 in Hardin County, Ky.