HONOLULU (KHON2) — A Leilehua High School teacher received one of the highest honors for a state educator.

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The Hawaii State teacher of the Year award was given to Jackie Freitas of Leilehua High School.

Freitas is the natural resources teacher and Future Farmers of America advisor at the school.

Leilehua is where she went to school and has taught her entire 13-year-career.

The school’s natural resources program runs one of the State’s largest high school agricultural farms.

Freitas said her favorite part about her job is her students.

“I build a family in my classroom. My students, my kids. I call them, I say ‘have a great weekend love bugs. I see you guys later.’ That’s how they know they can leave the class and they wait for it. If I don’t say ‘bye love bugs” they’re like what’s going on,” said Freitas. “Just building that community within my classroom and that connection it means the world.”

Freitas will represent Hawaii in the National Teacher of the Year program.

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But first, she is due to give birth in the next couple of weeks.