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Originally published: 2013-09-23 10:50:38
Last modified: 2013-09-24 09:18:03

Bethel teacher receives full tuition scholarship

by Staff Reports

The University of Phoenix will grant a full-tuition scholarship to a Bethel Elementary teacher chosen by 2013 N.C. Teacher of the Year Darcy Grimes through its "Teaching it Forward" program.


Grimes, who is now the instructional technology facilitator at Bethel and Mabel, has selected sixth-grade teacher Melissa Miller to receive the 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," Grimes said. "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 described as an amazing 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 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," said 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."

The University of Phoenix College of Education has been educating teachers and school administrators for more than 30 years through associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs. The school now has more than 71,000 graduates.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the school where Melissa Miller teaches. The story has been corrected.