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ELIZA GRUBA, a student teacher, sits in a chair in first-grade teacher Jerricka Mabon's classroom in Madison Elementary School. Gruba, who is working under Mabon this semester, will graduate from Dakota State University with a degree in elementary education in December after completing her student teaching placements.

Eliza Gruba loves teaching, but she wasn’t expecting how much she’d love getting to know parents, as well.

Gruba is student-teaching in Jerricka Mabon’s first-grade classroom in Madison Elementary School. She said she loves each new experience her mentor and students give her, but the warm embrace she’s received from parents and the community has encouraged her to be the best teacher possible.