With 27 years as an elementary teacher, Jan Green knew her way around the Lawrence school district.
She often would welcome and help guide new administrators and teachers to the district. And each year, colleagues said, she did her best to make sure her students had everything they needed.
“She was one of those teachers who just had a huge heart and always made kids feel special. She would go out of her way to do the little things for kids,” said Tammy Becker, Hillcrest School principal.
Green, 49, died Wednesday at a Topeka hospital. She had served as a teacher at Kennedy and Hillcrest schools. Most recently she taught English as a second language at Sunflower School.
The school district made members of its crisis support team available to students and staff members this week at Hillcrest and Sunflower.
Superintendent Randy Weseman said the school community was grieving her loss because Green was able to positively influence hundreds of children.
“Jan was just the kind of person who everyone loved and loved to be around,” he said. “The kids, parents, teachers — everybody loved Jan Green.”
When Becker was hired to lead Hillcrest in 2001, Green was one of the teachers assigned to help ease Becker’s transition.
As a team player, Green was also very generous and worked to help her students and families outside the classroom as well. She would donate coats, shoes or other hand-me-downs from her own family.
“I think when kids and parents talk about her being one of their favorite teachers, that means she had a tremendous impact not only as an educator but in who she was and how she represented herself to others,” Becker said.
Green’s husband, Tracy Green, survives along with their three sons, Nick, Patrick and Matt.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Monday at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 6001 Bob Billings Parkway. Green graduated from Lawrence High School in 1977 and Kansas University in 1981.