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N.C. Teacher of the Year Grimes Selects Bethel Colleague Melissa Miller for University of Phoenix Scholarship

Sept. 24, 2013. University of Phoenix is recognizing the accomplishments of N.C. 2013 Teacher of the Year and Boone, N.C. resident, Darcy Grimes, by providing her the opportunity to “Teach Forward” a full-tuition scholarship to University of Phoenix. Grimes, who is now the Instructional Technology Facilitator at both Bethel Elementary School and Mabel Elementary School, has chosen her Bethel Elementary School colleague, sixth-grade teacher Melissa Miller, to receive the full-tuition scholarship.

Grimes is one of only 54 educators across the country recognized by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) as a 2013 State Teacher of the Year. Each year since 1952, students, teachers and administrators have nominated educators for this award, which is considered the oldest and most prestigious national program recognizing excellence in teaching.

To celebrate these achievements, University of Phoenix is providing each state’s Teacher of the Year the opportunity to teach forward a full-tuition scholarship. The “Teaching it Forward” scholarship program was created by University of Phoenix in 2009. Each Teacher of the Year may nominate a fellow educator, community member or high school senior who resides within the educator’s state for a full-tuition scholarship that can be applied to an undergraduate or master’s degree program online or at any University of Phoenix campus. 

“I am overwhelmed by the generosity of University of Phoenix and its commitment to award a ‘Teaching it Forward’ scholarship to a deserving student in every state in the nation,” said Grimes. “Through this innovative program, University of Phoenix puts vision into action by empowering a teacher to open the door to a college education for a deserving individual.”

Grimes said it was an honor for her to nominate Miller, whom she describes as “an amazing sixth grade teacher” who “is willing to do whatever it takes to give her students the skills they need for a successful future.”  Grimes also said that she knows “without a doubt” that Miller will give 100 percent when it comes to her University of Phoenix coursework. 

Faced with the challenges of poverty throughout her educational journey, Miller said she made it her personal mission to pay for college without asking her parents to take on a heavy financial burden.  Throughout high school, she took Advanced Placement classes, worked at a local factory and checked in with her school counselor every day regarding potential scholarship applications. She was the first member of her family to attend college and receive an undergraduate degree. She now plans to pursue a Master of Arts in Education with her Teaching it Forward scholarship; earning this advanced degree also will represent a “first” in her family.

“There are so many wonderful things happening in education and it is the job of a teacher to research and constantly seek out new and effective strategies to improve student learning and guarantee the success of every child,” explained Miller. “This master’s program will help me seek out those innovations and not only integrate them into my classroom, but the entire culture of learning at my school.”

About University of Phoenix College of Education  

University of Phoenix College of Education has been educating teachers and school administrators for more than 30 years. The College of Education provides associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for individuals who want to become teachers or current educators and administrators seeking advanced degrees to strengthen their professional knowledge. With more than 71,000 graduates, and education programs available throughout most of the U.S., the College of Education has a distinct grasp of the national education picture and priorities for teacher preparation. Faculty members on average bring more than 17 years of professional experience to the classroom. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu/education.