FAIRFIELD, Iowa — Fairfield High School is still mourning Spanish teacher Nohema Graber’s death since her murder last November, but the pain has intensified in the wake of her accused killers’ hearings this month.

Two of Graber’s former students, Willard Miller and Jeremy Goodale, learned they will face life in prison if convicted of her murder.

“I walk past the pictures of her in the parking lot every day,” said Fred Hucke, an English teacher at Fairfield High whose classroom is down the hall from Graber’s former classroom. “People handle it in different ways, so we just have to let everybody heal in their own way and try to be there for each other.”

Hucke’s daughter Nik is also grieving Graber. The younger Hucke is a former student of Graber’s who is now a substitute teacher within the Fairfield Community School District.

“Señora Graber was always there,” the younger Hucke said. “She left such an impression and was always genuine about it.”

The two are also struggling to understand why Graber’s former students, if convicted, could commit such a crime. That confusion is especially apparent in the elder Hucke, who had both Miller and Goodale as students in his classroom.

“I know where they sat, and I can picture one of them petting the classroom dog,” the elder Hucke said. “I know my people here in the school district. If there were signs, someone would have reported. There were no signs. Sometimes it’s totally hidden.”

“I don’t want anyone to get off easy if they shouldn’t, but at the same time I don’t want to spend the rest of my life carrying anger towards these kids,” the younger Hucke said.

Goodale’s murder trial is scheduled to begin in August, while Miller’s is slated for November.

The Huckes say they are doing their best to keep Graber’s positive spirit shining even through these tough times.

“She would want things to move ahead, especially for the kids that she loves,” Fred Hucke said. “I think it’s good to remember, but it’s not good to wallow in the pain.”