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The Phoenix School of Discovery teacher wins ExCel Award

Heather Levinson's become a leader in her field, working to alter teaching styles and provide her students options on their learning.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — WHAS11 News, in partnership with LG&E and KU, recognizes teachers who go above and beyond in their classrooms with an ExCel Award.

This week's recipient is Heather Levinson, a teacher at The Phoenix School of Discovery. Through leadership and special tools, she's created a healthy classroom focused on the whole child.

Friends and faculty came together to honor Heather Levinson, who focuses on helping students who have autism.

She's become a leader in her field, working to alter teaching styles and provide her students options on their learning to create a healthy classroom environment. 

Levinson has even incorporated her dog and several other furry friends into her classroom to provide students with more comfort.

"Meeting a child's needs in my classroom isn't a bargaining chip," Levinson said. "It's not a tool for compliance. I know if I'm responsive and if I listen to them, they're going to learn and grow."

During the ExCel ceremony, school board member James Craig joined in virtually to speak to her passions outside the classroom, which include coaching cross country and running in 100-mile races!

"I'm so glad to know you and so glad the district has found you're deserving of this award," Craig said. "Everyone in your circle of friends has known for a long time."

Honored to win, but humble with the award, Mrs. Levinson was thrilled to discuss her spending plans for the $1,000 check accompanying her golden apple award.

"We are going to be taking social skills into the wild," Levinson explained. "Sometimes that might be Walgreens, The Humane Society, Second Chances Wildlife Center. But, we're going to be trying out all the self-advocacy skills and self-regulation skills we learn in the classroom, and put them out in place in the rest of the world."

On behalf of LG&E and KU, and WHAS11, congratulations to Mrs. Heather Levinson, this week's ExCel award recipient.

Contact Hayley Minogue at hminogue@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook 

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