DES MOINES, Iowa -- As summer break knocks on the door of Helen Cropp’s classroom at Perkins Elementary, her students are soaking up their final weeks of fourth grade.
Student Claire Welk says, “I like that it’s never boring and I don't dread coming to school every day.”
For Cropp, this school year is the cause for a lot of reflection, too. She's headed for retirement at the end of the year. After 22 years in the district, Cropp admits it is a bittersweet decision.
“Just to watch them socially and how they interact with each other and care for each other and their excitement when they learn new things and realize they really do understand it.”
This month she was awarded the Golden Apple, something she says she’ll treasure forever. However, her students say they will forever treasure the advice she taught them.
“How to be kind to others,” says student Jayden Davison. “She says it’s always nice to be kind to others or they're not going to treat you the same way.”
“I wish everybody got an opportunity to be in her class, but its good that she gets to retire because she’s done a lot of hard work,” adds Welk.
After putting in 22 years of hard work, Cropp says she plans on volunteering at the school along with spending time with her family and picking up new hobbies.
Cropp is the third teacher from Perkins Elementary to be award the Golden Apple within the last decade.
Watch below for the entire interview with Cropp.