GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — This week’s Educator of the Week is a South Greene High School Graduate who returned as a teacher after a ten-year career in business.

Leslie Ellenburg said she wanted a change after a decade in business and found that passion as a teacher. In addition to her work in the classroom, Ellenburg is also a Key Club sponsor and Cheer Coach at South Greene.

“I love seeing the aha moment from the students. I love seeing their smiling faces,” said Ellenburg.

Now, Ellenburg witnesses that enjoyment every day. She’s in her 5th year teaching at South Greene, where she teaches personal finance, environmental science and reading intervention.

“I feel like they have so many outside pressures, I want it to be a relaxed learning environment. I want them to know they can ask questions. They don’t have to hesitate, they can be open and honest.”

Ellenburg takes those same principles outside the classroom and brings them to her cheerleading coaching at the school.

“Everyone learns at a different rate, that has helped me, I can slow down and give them a little extra time to learn new dances, cheers. So I think it has helped me in that role recognizing that everyone is an individual,” said Ellenburg.

“[Ellenburg] is a perfectionist and she practices what she preaches. Our cheerleaders work so hard. You can see her in the cafe, very late nights, in the early mornings, just for them to perfect their craft and I think that’s the best you can ask for any educator,” said Dr. Lori Wilhoit, South Greene Principal.

Ellenburg continues to give her best every day and is happy she made that leap of faith from the business world into the classroom.

“It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made,” said Ellenburg.

Congratulations to this week’s Educator of the Week, Leslie Ellenburg.

To nominate an educator, click here.