The September 2019 CVUSD Teacher of the Month was awarded to Eric Levy, the special education department chairman for WHS.
“I had no idea whatsoever,” said Levy, referring to his reaction when he received the award. “[It] caught me completely off guard.”
Despite his surprise, many staff and school board members praised Levy’s dedication to his work. Prominent figures of the CVUSD community such as principal Jason Branham and Colleen Briner-Schmidt, President of Unified Association of Conejo Teachers, acknowledged the importance of Levy.
“Eric has taught me a lot. . .he is one of those people that leads by example,” said Branham, speaking in front of the teachers. “He’s always willing to go that extra mile.”
Levy works constantly outside of school to advance the rights of students with disabilities and for the teachers’ union.
“I’m the special education representative for the United Association of Conejo Teachers,” said Levy. “I’m [also] involved with numerous groups that advocate for special education.”
Briner-Schmidt, the UACT president, congratulated Levy on his award.
“[Levy is] a dedicated and fierce advocate for all students,” said Briner-Schmidt. “[He’s] a rare educator who can be direct, honest and still warm.”
Levy has been the department chair for six years and has taught special education for 13 years.
“I was originally going to become a math and computer science teacher,” said Levy. “[Then, I] took a couple of required classes in special education and was intrigued by them and decided I wanted to start working with students with disabilities.”
Additionally, Levy believes the key to success is treating all students equally.
“If you’re treating [students] with equity and respect, and setting goals for them that are attainable, then you should, whether that student has a disability or not, be able to experience the same level of success,” said Levy.
When Levy was called up to accept his award, he made sure to credit his department, bringing them up to the front as well.
“This is not something done alone,” said Levy. “Teaching is a group effort. When you give a round of applause, don’t just give it to me, give it to the whole crew.”