December 8, 2021

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Fairfield students say murdered teacher, student argued over grades – KCCI Des Moines

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Students are remembering Spanish teacher Nohema Graber, who police say was killed by two 16-year-old students. Since 2012, Nohema Graber has taught Spanish at Fairfield High School. Her current and former students were among those who got together Friday to share memories and express shock. Sawyer Mast took her class last year.”Not all of us liked Spanish two or three,” Mast said. “It was a hard class. But she was, in reality, probably one of the best teachers we had because she held you to her standards, and that was good for her.”He’s one of several students KCCI spoke to who knew Graber and the two students now charged with her murder: Jeremy Goodale, 16, and Willard “Chaiden” Miller, 16. “Having known Chaiden, having him in my class, he did speak, not in a murderous way, but in a very aggressive way for dislike toward Ms. Graber,” Mast said. A couple of students told KCCI they heard an argument Tuesday afternoon about trying to get a grade up in Graber’s class. Not long after that, police said that same student went to Chautauqua Park where Graber was known to go for walks. Her body was found covered up following a severe head trauma. For her students, those details are unthinkable.”She was really sweet,” said Jersey Money. “She always, always talked about her family and her friends, and how much she loved her kids, and how excited she was to come to America and teach us her culture.”Throughout the day, current and former students came to check on each other. Kayla Reinier was in the same Spanish class as one of the accused killers. “I just wanted to check up on these teachers and see how they’re feeling, because us kids, we know this teacher, but they’ve been working with her for a long time, and it’s just heartbreaking,” Reinier said. Both teens have been charged with first-degree murder. Goodale and Miller are being held on $1 million cash bonds while they wait for their preliminary hearings on Nov. 12. Graber was born in Xalapa, Mexico, the capital of the state of Veracruz, about 180 miles (289 kilometers) east of Mexico City. She moved to Fairfield, the hometown of her husband Paul Graber, in the 1990s. They divorced five years ago but remained close, he told The Des Moines Register.Her son, Christian Graber, posted a Facebook message Thursday saying he forgives the people who killed his mother and that there is no point in being angry.“My mother was an angel of a woman and was one of the kindest souls,” he wrote, ending his message with “Te amo madre — I love you mom.”Her daughter, Nohema Marie Graber, echoed her brother’s message of forgiveness.“We had the wonderful fortune of growing up in a home filled with such an abundance of warmth and love,” she said.According to court documents, Goodale posted details about planning the killing and a possible motive on social media. Police said they found clothing that appeared to have blood at the homes of the teens. Court documents state Miller admitted to being at the park with Garber was killed and helped to conceal her death. Assistant Jefferson County Attorney Patrick J. McAvan said Friday that many people are asking if this is a racially motivated crime. “We do not have any evidence at this point that suggests that,” he said.Authorities have not released a motive.The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Students are remembering Spanish teacher Nohema Graber, who police say was killed by two 16-year-old students.

Since 2012, Nohema Graber has taught Spanish at Fairfield High School. Her current and former students were among those who got together Friday to share memories and express shock.

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Sawyer Mast took her class last year.

“Not all of us liked Spanish two or three,” Mast said. “It was a hard class. But she was, in reality, probably one of the best teachers we had because she held you to her standards, and that was good for her.”

He’s one of several students KCCI spoke to who knew Graber and the two students now charged with her murder: Jeremy Goodale, 16, and Willard “Chaiden” Miller, 16.

“Having known Chaiden, having him in my class, he did speak, not in a murderous way, but in a very aggressive way for dislike toward Ms. Graber,” Mast said.

A couple of students told KCCI they heard an argument Tuesday afternoon about trying to get a grade up in Graber’s class. Not long after that, police said that same student went to Chautauqua Park where Graber was known to go for walks.

Her body was found covered up following a severe head trauma.

For her students, those details are unthinkable.

“She was really sweet,” said Jersey Money. “She always, always talked about her family and her friends, and how much she loved her kids, and how excited she was to come to America and teach us her culture.”

Throughout the day, current and former students came to check on each other. Kayla Reinier was in the same Spanish class as one of the accused killers.

“I just wanted to check up on these teachers and see how they’re feeling, because us kids, we know this teacher, but they’ve been working with her for a long time, and it’s just heartbreaking,” Reinier said.

Both teens have been charged with first-degree murder. Goodale and Miller are being held on $1 million cash bonds while they wait for their preliminary hearings on Nov. 12.

Graber was born in Xalapa, Mexico, the capital of the state of Veracruz, about 180 miles (289 kilometers) east of Mexico City. She moved to Fairfield, the hometown of her husband Paul Graber, in the 1990s. They divorced five years ago but remained close, he told The Des Moines Register.

Her son, Christian Graber, posted a Facebook message Thursday saying he forgives the people who killed his mother and that there is no point in being angry.

“My mother was an angel of a woman and was one of the kindest souls,” he wrote, ending his message with “Te amo madre — I love you mom.”

Her daughter, Nohema Marie Graber, echoed her brother’s message of forgiveness.

“We had the wonderful fortune of growing up in a home filled with such an abundance of warmth and love,” she said.

According to court documents, Goodale posted details about planning the killing and a possible motive on social media. Police said they found clothing that appeared to have blood at the homes of the teens.

Court documents state Miller admitted to being at the park with Garber was killed and helped to conceal her death.

Assistant Jefferson County Attorney Patrick J. McAvan said Friday that many people are asking if this is a racially motivated crime. “We do not have any evidence at this point that suggests that,” he said.

Authorities have not released a motive.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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