Brandeis alumni Caroline Cadel ’09 and Lea Winkler ’09 received the Harry S. Levitan Award for Excellence and Leadership in Education on June 6. Friends since preschool, Cadel and Winkler are now both elementary school teachers in Massachusetts. 

The Harry S. Levitan award was established in 2000 by Dr. Joseph J. Levitan in memory of his brother, teacher Harry S. Levitan. Dr. Levitan, who died in 2009, donated nearly $6.7 million to Brandeis University. The Ellis and Ethel Levitan Scholarship Endowment Fund, which provides financial aid to students, bears his parents’ names. 

Cadel graduated with a major in Sociology and minors in Teacher Education and Education Studies. A member of the prestigious honor society, Phi Beta Kappa, and a former Undergraduate Departmental Representative for the Education minor, Cadel advocated for the creation of the Education studies major. According to a Sept. 3 BrandeisNOW article, Cadel’s interest in education began in her early childhood, but it was at Brandeis where she decided to seriously pursue teaching.

Winkler said that volunteering at her Hebrew school and elementary school and her involvement in Brandeis’ Teacher Leadership Program set her on the path to teaching. Winkler graduated with a major in History and minors in Education Studies and Elementary Teacher Education. She also participated in the Delet/Master of Arts in Teaching Program at Brandeis, a one-year intensive graduate program for aspiring Jewish day school educators. 

Cadel now works at Whitcomb Middle School in Marlborough, MA, where she teaches social studies and facilitates the Brandeis Teacher Induction Program. According to Marlborough’s Main Street Journal, she works to incorporate technology into her classroom in order to promote students’ digital literacy and responsibility. Winkler teaches general studies at Epstein Hillel School, a Jewish day school in Marblehead, MA, and recently won the Pomegranate Prize from the Covenant Foundation, which recognizes emerging leaders in Jewish education.