Position: Special Educator
School: U-32 High School
School District: Washington Central Supervisory Union
City, State: Montpelier, Vermont
About the Nominee: Judd Levine is a special educator and a lacrosse coach. Mr. Levine acts as a mentor and a sounding board to kids who need him. He is there for them, countless times, with advice or just to listen to their problems without judgment. He applies this also to his coaching. One student and his parents been told countless times that he wouldn't be able to play on a team due to his Asperger's and resulting volatility, even though he was a talented athlete. With training and inherent empathy, Mr. Levine was able to teach the student not only the game of lacrosse, but the value of sportsmanship and teamwork. This took enormous patience. It also took time to understand the student and his disability. Thanks to Mr. Levine's work and the work of others like him, the student is now a junior at college, is doing well academically and passionate about his schoolwork. It would have been easy to write him off during his high school days, but the patience of teachers and coaches like Mr. Levine helped him get to where he is now. There are many other kids who struggle and who lack support, and Mr. Levine is always there for them. He has a remarkable ability to connect with children when others can't.