Loretta Chou Eng, a teacher in the Granite School District for the past six years, is a new American citizen.

She received her citizenship a few weeks ago in an official ceremony with about 100 others from around the world. Later, she was the guest of honor at a special party at South Kearns Elementary School, where she teaches second grade.

"The faculty had a giant cake with a huge American flag on it. They have all been so wonderful to me," she said, happily.Eng came to Utah from Taiwan in 1981 when she was 28. In Taiwan, she had studied English as a young girl, earned a college degree and had taught English for more than five years in secondary schools and colleges. Once in Utah, she enrolled at the University of Utah and earned a master's degree in education in 1983. She taught at Monroe School three years before coming to South Kearns in 1985.

She and her husband, Wing, a self-employed civil engineer, have two children, Daniel, 4, and Connie, seven months old.

"I love teaching,' she said. "Children are so important. I am surprised so many Americans, children and adults, don't know more about their country and I am doing my best to help my students learn about American history. Citizenship is certainly something I will never take for granted," she said, smiling.