Lesson Learned? Former Dean Busted with Drugs Loses License
CONCORD — The former student of deans at Pembroke Academy surrendered her teaching certificate as part of a plea deal for having drugs at the school.
Rekha Luther plead guilty on Monday in Merrimack County Superior Court to felony possession of a narcotic drug in a safe school zone and possession of a controlled drug in a safe school zone.
Luther apologized for having steroid testosterone propionate in her car and fentanyl in her unlocked office in February 2016. On top of surrendering her teaching certificate, Luther was sentenced to three months in jail.
During the two years since her arrest, Luther missed several court appearances and ultimately ended up arrested on a warrant for failing to appear at a pretrial hearing and jury selection in July.
On Monday Luther said she "disappointed a lot of people."
The judge said he understands the need to send a message about such behavior, but adds Luther has made progress through counseling and treatment.
At the time of her arrest, the then-36-year-old Luther was in her first year as dean of students at the school and resigned her position a month later.
The school district came under fire for not publicly acknowledging the arrest, which happened at the school, or that drugs were found in the school.
The Department of Education said keeping children safe in the classroom is a top priority.
“Thankfully incidents involving a certified educator pleading guilty to a criminal offense such as this are extremely rare," said Commissioner Frank Edelblut in a prepared statement on Tuesday. "However, when they do occur, the Department of Education acts quickly and takes all appropriate measures to ensure the safety of our students while being mindful of the rights of our educators.
“The Department of Education worked with all parties involved in this case to reach a fair and just resolution in this case.”
Material from The Associated Press contributed to this story.