BOONE, Iowa – Trinity Lutheran School provides a different place for students to learn, centered around God.

“We’re teaching Jesus first and foremost,” Principal Amy Schroeder said, “but then algebra is on top of that. History is all on top of that.”

Schroeder, better known as Ms. S has art all around her classroom, but her creativity and contributions do not stop there.

“She’s dedicated,” Pastor Jess Heimer said. “That’s one word I would use to describe Ms. S because whether it’s giving kids rides to school that otherwise wouldn’t have them or spending time coaching outside of school, she’s always caring about the kids, staying late working on homework. It seems like she does everything.”

“She always backs you up if you’re not having the best day or woke up on the wrong side of the bed,” Maverick Hilsabeck, one of her students, said. 

“She’s amazing,” Olivia Stahr, another student, said. “She’s more than just a teacher. She’s a principal, she’s an artist, she’s a coach. And she’s more than just a teacher, she’s a friend and she treats us all like family.”

It’s why 25 different people nominated Ms. S to be recognized for all she does with a Golden Apple.

“What an absolute honor,” Ms. S said. “Thank you so much. Those were very kind words that were just spoken and I truly do love being part of this school and part of this family, so thank you.”

For more than two decades, Ms. S has treated her students at Trinity Lutheran like family. 

“I think it’s for the nurturing and encouragement,” Ms. S said, “for them to feel part of a community.” 

It’s an atmosphere former students remember.

“We had a lot of inside jokes with her and she’s really funny,” Emma Westrum, parent and school board member, said. “And some of them I can still remember from fifth grade, 25 years ago.”

And current parents appreciate it.

“You know your children are safe with a teacher like that who knows that they care,” Sheralyn Page, another parent said. “I feel safe with my children here. It’s just a wonderful feeling to know that a teacher cares that much about your children.”

It’s something that comes naturally for the educator who answered her call to serve.

“I’m just doing what God wants me to do, trying to do what God wants me to do,” Ms. S said. “So to get an award seems very odd; but a definite honor and a privilege.”

There are 132 students who go to Trinity Lutheran School in Boone, preschool through eighth grade.

You can watch the full interview with Ms. S below: