By Nancy Gutierrez

Close to a month has past since Miriam Ortega graduated from eighth grade. Miriam thought graduation day would be the last time she would see many of her former teachers, until she got a call from Exeter Elementary Teachers Association (EETA) Vice President Ed Grimsley, her seventh grade teacher.

"He called me and said I was getting a computer," Miriam said. "I though it wasn't true, that they were kidding."

During the Wilson Middle School graduation Miriam received the EETA's award, which is also a scholarship that provides deserving students with a brand new computer. Grimsley said a computer would benefit the soon-to-be high school student better than a check.

"We choose a student every year who we think is hard working and would benefit from receiving a computer," Grimsley said. "We look for someone who has a goal and will continue their education. She's worked hard to become a good student and we know she'll use it."

On Wednesday, July 7 Grimsley along with teacher Sharron Broland, delivered the new Gateway computer to Miriam's home. Miriam, her younger siblings and father, watched as Broland and Grimsley assembled the computer in the living room. Broland is also providing Miriam with a printer.

"I'm excited," Miriam said. "We have a computer, but this one is going to be mine."

Miriam's dad, Juventino Ortega, said he has happy the EETA chose his daughter.

"I know she is a good student and will continue to be one," he said.

Grimsley reinforced the fact that Miriam had earned the computer and it was not a gift.

"We saw how hard you worked," he said. "We are not giving this to you. You earned it."

Miriam said her favorite subject is math and Grimsley added that she is also a very good writer. She already has her first high school schedule which includes a computer class.

"I know I'll use it for homework," she said.

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