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BUSSEY, Iowa — Fewer than 400 students make up the entire Twin Cedars School District, but the small district is full of teachers with big hearts.

For almost 20 years, Randy Haar has taught math at Twin Cedars High School. It’s where he got his start in education after graduating college. He calls the school his second home.

“It’s a very tight-knit community. The kids are awesome as are the faculty and administrators. We all work together to try and make the best school environment as possible,” he says.

Four students nominated Haar for the Golden Apple Award. Sophomore, Rachel Stoops says he’s the reason she and others stay in school.

“Teachers like him are the reason that I love coming to school. Teachers who can make students feel loved and welcomed at school are the reason kids continue. It’s just great.”

From teaching during the day to afterschool activities, Mr. Haar never misses an event. He says it’s his way of connecting with his students on a deeper level.

“It gives you something else to talk about instead of just hey here’s whatever math concept,” he says. “I get a chance to be personable with them and learn things from them.”

You can watch the extended interview with Haar below:

Haar is the second teacher from the district awarded the Golden Apple in the last four years.