MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa -- In the classroom, English teacher Kathi Hale means business, but she also doesn't take herself too seriously.
At Marshalltown High School's recent pep rally, Hale led the students in the fight song. It's evident that she bleeds bobcat blue and red, and her students here are her life.
"I believe anyone can be educated, and it's just up to me find the kid to unlock that window or door to their desire to learn because I think that's behind it all," she said.
Her students consider her a part of their lives, too. Senior student Matt Bohan says, "You have a bond between her, and she knows a lot about you and you know a lot about her."
The student who nominated the teacher for the Golden Apple award is now in college, which is a testament to Hale's past and present impact on her students. Hale calls the recognition validation of her nearly 20-year teaching career.
"You just never know if you've got the right key, and so when something like today you get an idea maybe you've reached a few. That's why my heart is overflowing," she smiled.