JAMESTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — A sixth-grade science and social studies teacher was named Teacher of the Year during a surprise ceremony Wednesday morning.

Charlene Tuttle, a veteran educator of more than 25 years, was nominated by her colleagues and students at The Lawn School in Jamestown.

Students praised Tuttle for making class exciting.

“I’m elated, honored and humbled to have been chosen to represent such amazing people and students in the state. So it’s going to be, really, a journey of growth and I’m looking forward to it,” Tuttle said.

In her time at The Lawn School, Tuttle produced many opportunities for her students.

Tuttle created a program to teach how to build underwater vehicles, ran afterschool coding workshops and collaborated with Roger Williams University to study the local environment.

As Teacher of the Year, Tuttle will work with the Department of Education to develop policies and help support education statewide.

Tuttle is now eligible to represent Rhode Island as a National Teacher of the Year.