High school teacher missing police do not suspect foul play

23-year veteran called in sick last week

no contact since then

October 01, 1997|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

A longtime Arundel Senior High School social studies teacher has been missing from his job and home for more than a week, but county police say they do not suspect foul play.

Michael P. Parvis, 54, of the 7900 block of Vintage Circle, Glen Burnie, was last in school Sept. 18, according to police and school officials. He called in sick Sept. 19 and Sept. 22, according to J. Mark Black, supervisor of investigations and records management at school system headquarters, and hasn't been heard from since.

"Monday was the last communication," Black said. "His pay was cut off as of Tuesday."

Paul Vandenberg, assistant principal at Arundel, filed a missing persons report with police Sept. 23, said Officer Carol Frye, a police spokeswoman.

Detective Thomas O'Conner has talked with Parvis' brother, sister and former wife, but none of them know where he is, Frye said. When police entered Parvis' home, they found no evidence of foul play, she said.

"There is a possibility that he just decided to go away for a little bit and not tell anyone," Frye said.

Parvis' divorce from Mary R. Parvis, 50, became final in May 1996.

Arundel Principal William T. Myers called the disappearance "bizarre."

"He's a highly regarded professional here on the staff," Myers said.

"A lot of people are very concerned."

Myers said he would soon make an announcement about Parvis' absence to students to control rumors.

"Our hope and prayer is that he is returned safely," Myers said.

Black said that unexplained, long absences are unusual for teachers. He could only remember one other case of a missing teacher in the county in the last four of five years, and in that case, the teacher, whom Black would not identify, eventually called from out of state to resign.

A teacher at Randallstown High School in Baltimore County was missing for a week in October 1995 before she turned up alone, unharmed, but incoherent at a gas station in Boston.

"There would have to be some kind of explanation for where he was to consider paying him for that time period," Black said of Parvis, who has taught in the county for 23 years. "We just don't know."

Parvis is a nice man with a cynical sense of humor who didn't talk about his life outside the classroom, according to Laura Adcock, 16, a student in his Advanced Placement U.S. History class.

"From what we saw, he was an average advanced-placement teacher," said Adcock, a junior. "We didn't think anything of it when he was sick for two days."

Some parents of advanced-placement students are worried that the class, which prepares students for a spring test that can be used for college credit, is without its teacher, said Adcock. But the head of the social studies department has taken over teaching the course, she said.

Police will distribute a flier with Parvis' photo today, Frye said.

"We just have a person who has just decided not to go to work and is not at his home, and other than that we don't really have a whole lot," she said.

Pub Date: 10/01/97

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