Newington students are heading back to class on Wednesday. The town's Teacher of the Year is kicking off the new school year with a brand new medical science program.
Jennifer Freese says it's all about her students.
“They are why I do what I do. To me, it’s not necessarily what they learn, but letting them know that there is somebody that cares about them,” Freese said.
Her enthusiasm has earned her Newington's Teacher of the Year award.
"Totally shocked, surprised, humbled. Very honored. I was blown away that my colleagues had nominated me and that I had been selected," she said.
She's been teaching at the middle school in Newington for the past four years and now she's moving up to teach at the high school.
"I'm feeling a little bit like a freshman. Excited, nervous," she said.
Mrs. Freese is heading up a new program this year that gives students hands-on experience in the medical field.
“It’s giving students some initial exposure as to what those careers are. Helping them to find things they’re interested in and things they’re not so interested in,” she said.
Students will learn in a brand new state-of-the-art classroom.
“We tried to simulate that doctor setting with all actual tools and materials that you would see that, so that our students really have first-hand experience," Freese said.
Freese says her goal this year is to help students and inspire them to be the best they can be.
“The most important thing is making connections with students. Making sure that you shake the kids' hands when they come in the door. Making sure that they know they are welcome here," she said.