Price's teaching license is revoked

December 12, 1993|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

The Maryland Department of Education has revoked the teaching license of Ronald W. Price, the former Northeast High School teacher and coach serving a 26-year prison sentence for having sexual trysts with female students.

A letter signed by Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick was mailed Friday to Price's lawyers.

Price had spent his 24-year teaching career at Northeast, where he taught social studies, and coached the Drama Club and varsity softball team.

With no valid teaching certificate from the state, Price cannot teach in public school in Maryland. Although many private and parochial schools do not require the certificate, a criminal background check -- which many schools routinely undertake -- would reveal seven convictions of having sex with students, making Price an unlikely candidate for the job. Additionally, his name will go on a nationwide computer bank listing teaching license revocations in every state.

The state first tried to inform Price in an Oct. 25 letter that it intended to take away his teaching license. But such letters are mailed requesting a return receipt to prove they have been accepted and none came, said A. Skipp Sanders, assistant state superintendent for certification and accreditation since 1988.

The Department of Education then sent a second notice, this on Nov. 18, to Price's lawyers in Baltimore, where the letter was accepted. Through his lawyers, Price had 10 days to appeal the state's intended action.

"We were expecting the lawyers to contact us. They didn't," Dr. Sanders said.

Timothy Umbreit, one of Price's attorneys, said he did not contact the state Department of Education because he did not intend to appeal the revocation. Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Eugene M. Lerner had barred Price from teaching and working with children as part of the sentence handed down in October. Price is in the state prison at Jessup.

Mr. Umbreit said that Price's wife did receive the first notice and showed it to her husband.

Price, 49, formerly of the 200 block of W. Edgevale Drive in Brooklyn Park, has been out of the classroom since his arrest in April on charges that he was sleeping with a student. Police lodged additional charges based on allegations by two former students, and he resigned.

An Anne Arundel County Circuit Court jury convicted him in September of seven counts in connection with the three relationships.

Price was ordered never to work with children again after he is released, to have no contact with the three victims or their families and to perform 1,000 hours of community service. He will be eligible for parole consideration after serving about one-fourth of his sentence.

Because Price cooperated with a state-ordered probe into how the county school system mishandled allegations that teachers had sexual liaisons with students, the sentence may be reduced. A reconsideration hearing is set for Jan. 17 before Judge Lerner.

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