The Butler County Sheriff today issued a summons for a former teacher from Lakota East High School, asking her to appear in court to face charges that she stole prom money. 45 year old Heather Schoell-Schroeder will have to go to a hearing in June to face a charge of misdemeanor theft.
A criminal investigation was launched after school officials realized that $800 in prom funds were missing. The school held its prom on April 28th at the Savannah Center in West Chester.
The Butler County Sheriff's Department was called to the school last week by assistant principal Stacey Millburg, who also oversees the prom committee. In a release sent out on Friday, May 11th, the school says Schoell-Schroeder "may have encouraged students to pay her directly for admission, instead of waiting in line to buy tickets in the lunchroom."
"Initially, the students' suspicions may not have been aroused because the standard ticket sale process did not involve issuing paper tickets. Instead, payment was supposed to be credited to students electronically. The teacher may have told students to see her at the prom to gain entrance, instead of going through the standard check-in system."
"On prom night, an assistant principal on the prom committee and other prom organizers began to suspect problems when students complained about having trouble gaining admission. When students questioned the teacher, she asked two students to not report her, according to the students."
"On Monday, April 30, the next school day, the assistant principal consulted the school's resource officer who is a deputy sheriff. On his advice, the assistant principal began taking statements from students and prom organizers. Initially, the assistant principal couldn't account for the payments for 19 ticket sales. Since then, that number has increased to 20. Lakota gave the results of its internal investigation to the Sheriff's Office."
"A relative of the teacher has given the school some of the money that might be missing, $160. Since the prom, the employee has not reported to school for teaching duties. The employee submitted a letter of resignation, dated May 8, 2012. A long-term substitute is handling the teacher's duties for the rest of the school year."