Laura Amero a Windham, Ohio, school superintendent charged in sex scandal involving two students & threatening teens if they spoke out.
An Ohio school superintendent has been charged with having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old male student and attempting to do so with another at Windham Junior-Senior High School, then threatening them if they spoke out.
Laura Amero, 35, was on Monday indicted on two third-degree felony counts of sexual battery, two fourth-degree felony counts of attempted sexual battery. Charges the woman pleaded guilty to all via video.
Amero was also charged with two first-degree misdemeanor counts of intimidation of a crime victim or witness which allegedly occurred March 28.
The charges stem from incidents between February and May 2017 with a 16-year-old student who is now 18, and between September 2015 and May 2016 with a 17-year-old who is now 19.
The female educator joined Windham as principal in 2015 before being promoted to superintendent of Windham Exempted Village Schools, February 1 on a 3.5 year contract for $96,500.
Laura Amero Windham school superintendent suspended:
The superintendent was put on paid administrative leave April 1 when the Windham Board of Education was notified of alleged misconduct.
The Record-Courier reports that the Board of Education President Darryl McGuire believes law enforcement brought the matter to the school district’s attention.
Told the district in a released statement: ‘The Windham Exempted Village Schools will continue to cooperate as requested by law enforcement.’
In a Wednesday meeting the board unanimously voted to suspend Amero. It was decided that she will not be paid while the case is pending.
Fox 8 reported McGuire saying there was nothing alarming on the female educator’s record when they hired her.
Amero taught English at Western Reserve High School in Mahoning County under Principal Jeff Zatchok.
Amero did not have disciplinary records on file at either the Mahoning ESC or Western Reserve schools. Similarly, McGuire said the district had not received a complaint about Amero’s conduct in the past.
While Amaro’s file from the school is largely positive- part of her 2009-2010 school year evaluation noted the female educator could ‘work to maintain a solid boundary between student/teacher differences’.
She married the principal’s son Jacob Zatchok in 2012 but they divorced in 2013. He remarried in 2018.
Jacob is listed as working at Western Reserve High School but his father is no longer principal.
The year of her marriage 2012 she was praised for her engaged students, class management and organization in a peer evaluation.
Laura Amero Windham school superintendent sex scandal: ‘It just hit us by surprise.’
Following Wednesday’s meeting Board President Darryl McGuire said: ‘We can bring in counselors but right now we haven’t seen that problem. The acting superintendent is on top of that with the principals and are working on that issue, but our main focus is concentrating on education.’
‘It just kind of hit us by surprise,’ McGuire reiterated. ‘We’ll just wait this out and see what happens in court. As far as the board’s concerned, we’re there to run a school [district], and that’s what we need to do. We’ll take care of business.’
Former Superintendent Gregg Isler has returned to Windham as acting superintendent.
A pretrial hearing is scheduled for May 31 in Portage County Common Pleas Court.
Come Monday Amero was released after posting $350,000 bond.