HARRIS COUNTY, Ga. (WRBL) — Jennifer Lean said it felt “wonderful” and “exciting” to be chosen as Harris County School District’s teacher of the year. The announcement was made last Friday evening at a homecoming football game.

“It was very sweet to be there with my family,” she said. “They were on the side right in front of us … It was wonderful to get to share that with them.”

Lean teaches reading, language arts, math, social studies and science to third grade students at Park Elementary School.

“I’ve been teaching third grade for most of my career,” she said.

This is Lean’s 26th year of teaching and her fifth year teaching at Park Elementary.

Lean said her teaching style is “all about the students.”

“My number one concern for them is that they are safe physically and emotionally,” she said. “And then, every single day, I want to make sure that they learn. And I look at the students as individuals.”

Lean said she sees her students as if they were her own children. Lean’s students know her for being calm, firm, and fun and funny, she said.

Her favorite thing about her job is watching students grow.

“I love watching where they begin at the beginning of the year, and then, at the end of the year, celebrating with them how much they’ve grown and how excited they are about how their hard work paid off,” she said.

Lean said her class is only five weeks into the school year, and her students already see signs of their growth.

She said that in her time at Park Elementary, she has grown to love her colleagues.

“I love the environment there. I love the way that we’re supportive of each other, and I love my students and their families and how supportive they are.”