AMES, Iowa — When you’ve done something for a long time, there is a good chance you are pretty good at it.

Edwards Elementary teacher, Patti Allen hasn’t lost her sparkle in her 20 plus years in education. Allen received the Golden Apple Award 22 years ago while teaching in Colfax. What made her special then is the same thing that makes her special now.

“It’s really important to give them opportunity to shine in the classroom and share and that really helps us to build a strong community of learners,” she says.

She does that by way of catering to the specific needs of each one of her students and reminding them why they are valuable.

“It’s really great to see him excited about learning again and excited about being in school and it’s been meaningful to have that added layer of learning back in our home,” says Brandy Cunningham. Her son has Allen as a fourth-grade teacher. “She’s the epitome of a lifelong learner and you can see that in her teaching and how she encourages her students in the classroom.”

Although Allen has already been surprised once with the Golden Apple, the reminder of the power of her teaching is worth celebrating again.

“It’s my joy and I tell students that my hope and dream for them is to find that career that will bring as much joy as teaching has for me,” says Allen.

This is the first time in Golden Apple history a teacher has been given the award twice.

Watch the extended interview ith Patti Allen below:

Check out all the other Golden Apple Award winners here.