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Special Education Teacher Forms Special Bond with Students, Awarded Golden Apple

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A long-time Des Moines school teacher will retire at the end of the school year after spending decades in the classroom.  The secret to her success? Patience.

"You must have a lot of patience but that`s a good start but there is a lot more to it," laughs teacher, Darci Rose.

Rose is a special education teacher at Morris Elementary School where she is extremely attentive and intentional with her students and it's paying off with a huge reward. Dawn Thompson has watched her son, Gage, transform in Rose's classroom.

"Every parent when they have a child they have hopes and expectations and goals whether you realize it or not. But when that`s taken away, I just can't explain the feeling," she says.  The fifth-grader, who is on the autism spectrum and was non-verbal when he started school, is now excelling in reading, writing, and spelling.

These are the moments Rose lives for. "It`s the most thrilling part of my career. We wait for it and we just celebrate it," she smiles.

In her classroom, even the smallest of milestones warrant a big celebration and now the school is celebrating her. She was awarded the Golden Apple Award for her achievements helping students with special needs.

"They deserve it. It's not one person`s job. It`s a community. It's every staff member in this building is dedicated to the same thing so we just on board to the train that`s already moving and everyone just chips in," Rose adds.

Rose will retire at the end of the school year. School principal, Sherry Amos, says teachers like Rose are a rare find. It's getting harder to find specialized teachers.

"We are seeing more students who need assistance or individualized attention and it's hard to find the quality teacher that really want to do that and sustain that," she says.


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