Teacher You Can Count On: Debbie Wheeler - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/10/06

Teacher You Can Count On: Debbie Wheeler

Four months ago, a fire destroyed the home of sixth grader Elizabeth Borjas and her family. The student at Guadalupe Elementary lost everything. But it was one of Elizabeth's teachers that came to the rescue. NewsChannel 11's Suleika Acosta shows us how in this Teacher You Can Count On.

"It felt like I was missing something, like I couldn't replace, " says Sixth grader, Elizabeth Borjas. She recalls a Friday in November when her family's home burned to the ground.

"We saw it on the news. One of the other teachers called me that night and said I think I saw a little blurb during commercial and I think that was Elizabeth," says her teacher, Debbie Wheeler. The very next day, Mrs. Wheeler and two other colleagues came to the rescue. "She came to our hotel, picked me up and she bought me a whole bunch of clothes," says Elizabeth. "We knew all she had was what she had on that day," says Mrs. Wheeler.

The science teacher also contacted the Red Cross to help Elizabeth's family and continued to keep track of their recovery."They think she's an angel because she helped us in so many ways that's just not explainable," says Elizabeth.

Mrs. Wheeler says Elizabeth is one of her top students with a great attitude, something she didn't let the fire destroy. "She brought me her spelling paper the next Monday. She said Miss wheeler, I'm sorry but it's a little burnt, it was frayed around the edges but she had her spelling paper," says Mrs. Wheeler.

But it's her teacher's generosity and thoughtfulness that have made a lasting impact on Elizabeth. "She didn't have to do it but she wanted to and she did, that's what makes a great person. Someday I want to be kind of like her," says Elizabeth.

"It's a standard that you live by. You look to other people and help them," adds Mrs. Wheeler.

Elizabeth tells us her family is doing great. They have even moved into a new home.

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