NORA SPRINGS, Iowa - A longtime math teacher at a North Iowa middle school is set to retire after this year, but before he does, he became the latest winner of the Golden Apple Award.
Ron Pedersen is a public school superstar; for 32 years, he's enlightened and nurtured youngsters at Central Springs Middle School in Nora Springs, and is also the high school volleyball coach.
Carly O'Donnell is among the many students who nominated Pedersen, who's known affectionately as "Mr. P."
"He's a great guy, he always jokes around in our class, and he makes us enjoy math."
And while he is their teacher and even disciplinarian at times, his students regard him as family.
"He opened up that staying after school with him isn't a bad thing for me, and helping...he's always answering questions."
This marks the third time Pedersen has been nominated for the Golden Apple, and is fittingly receiving the honor as he retires.
"This district gave me the job, and they supported me. I have a great staff to work with, and I'm sure these gals could tell you, there are great teachers here. It makes my job easier."
He has a list of the teachers who started with him in 1987, and out of all of them, he's the only one left. And now as he winds down a stellar career, he's keenly aware of what he'll miss.
"I'm not going to miss the meetings, that's for sure, but I'm going to miss the students, miss the coaching. Being with the players, being with the students, I'm going to miss that."