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NEWTON, Iowa — This school year has been unlike any other and like so many other school districts in the state the coronavirus has moved classes online for students in Jasper County. Not only are students having to adapt but teachers are choosing to embrace the change too.

“This is has been a big lesson for all the teachers,” says Krysten Osby, a third grade teacher at Aurora Heights Elementary School. “Everyone is pitching in and helping. I hope that doesn’t go away. We want to see them everyday in the classroom and not over Zoom. We want to be able to give them hugs and high – fives and tell them they are loved.”

But for now, virtual hugs will have to do as Osby teaches from an empty classroom through a computer screen. It was through a video conferecing call, Osby was awarded the Golden Apple as more than 150 third grader students watched virtually.

Principal Jim Gilbert has nicknamed Osby, Mother Theresa, because of her selfless acts at school.

“She often comes to me and says, ‘hey can I do this? I have an idea. I need to reach out to this family for this and that.’ It just never stops,” he said. “She’s always thinking bout students and their families.”

During the shutdown earlier this year, Osby delivered books to students homes. “Reading is such an important part of life and I didn’t want kids to be without books so I want door to door delivering some of my very own.”

In a year with so much uncertainty, one thing is for certain.

“I adore kids. I love kids and I like helping out. I don’t like a lot of attention on me. I just like to do things for other people.”

Osby has been in the education field for 16 years.