This is the second of a series of articles recognizing teacher of the year award winners in West Boca.
Thee videos below are from a recent award ceremony with Rotary and the school district. They are available in higher resolution on the West Boca News YouTube channel.
Coral Sunset Teacher of the Year – Deborah Woolsey was named Teacher of the Year at Coral Sunset Elementary School. She works with younger students.
Linda Josaphat was honored as Teacher of the Year for Hammock Pointe Elementary School both for her work with the kids and for her efforts to help other teachers.
Nicole Scalisi was recognized as Teacher of the Year for Whispering Pines Elementary School. Principal Barbara Riemer mentioned Scalisi’s skill in working with diverse students and addressing their learning needs individually.
Former Loggers’ Run teacher Matthew Webster was sentenced yesterday to just short of one year in jail to be followed by five years of probation, and will be registered as a sex offender. The sentencing was reported by WPTV yesterday. We broke the initial story of a teacher arrested for sexting a teen back in January.
Court records show the victim read a statement in court on May 2nd and that her mother testified yesterday. West Boca News is keeping the victim’s identity private.
The mom had this to say about the experience:
Our family would like to thank the Sheriff’s Department, the State Attorney and the unbelievable, wonderful staff at both Loggers’ Run and West Boca High for their immediate and continued support throughout this ordeal. We are relieved that the people in charge did their jobs quickly and thoroughly and that justice was served today.
As a family we were shocked to learn who was behind the messages and pictures, the trust we had for him was immense and we were saddened to see a well respected teacher make wrong choices and abuse his role in our daughters life. We are glad this is now over and she can now have closure and move on from this unfortunate event. This is an action of one person and should have no reflection on Loggers Run Middle School, it is a phenomenal school with amazing teachers and staff.
She also mentioned “victim-blaming” in our conversation. We hope everyone close to this young woman will recognize that the blame in a situation like this falls fully on the adult who is supposed to be responsible, and not on a child.
The mother provided us with a copy of her testimony to the court. Excerpts are below (edited to protect victim’s identity):
The reality of where we are today staggers my mind. What were you thinking?? To violate the trust that my family had in you is so unbelievably sad and so wrong. …
As like [our daughter] we all trusted you and you violated that trust in a huge way. [Name] respected you and trusted you and now we are in a court room awaiting your punishment for pictures that you sent and content that no 14 year old girl should have had to read and requests she never should have received from anyone, particularly her teacher and her coach.
What happened was awful and you robbed [her] of some of her innocence and made her grow up faster than I would have liked. [She] is a tough girl and she will get past this, this incident will NOT define her.
What makes me so angry is that you were so liked, so trusted, so respected that she has been victimized twice – once by you and again by some of her peers and people in our community.
Even though her name was never released there was enough information given to the media that it didn’t take long before her former classmates and teammates figured out it was her. She knows she did nothing wrong I’m sorry I can’t say the same for you.
No matter what you are sentenced to today I can’t erase the images that she saw, the questions she had to answer and the judgment of others that didn’t and don’t believe her.
As her mother I feel like I failed her by not protecting her enough. I didn’t see this one coming. Teachers and coaches are held to a higher standard then most. This shouldn’t happen at all but especially in a place that we send our children to on a daily basis for 13 years. This isn’t a bar. This isn’t a pick up place. This is a school, a place we trust with our kids with people who are supposed to help them not hurt them.
[Our daughter] is young and has her whole life ahead of her to prosper and soar into adulthood with the support of all her family, this equals she will be an amazing successful addition to our society. This event will not define her.
You on the other hand Matthew Webster will look back at this as a choice that changed your life for the worse and that’s good enough for me.
All this being said I/we thank you for not physically harming her or worse. I truly hope you get the help you need and that you can make steps in repairing your life.
Teacher Matthew Webster was arrested for sending nude pictures of himself “to a 14-year-old student via smart phone. Charges are two counts of delivery of pornographic material harmful to a minor,” according to a media relations contact at the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office.
Earlier today several readers contacted us about an e-mail from Principal Fran Giblin of Loggers Run Middle School:
Today, a teacher at our school was arrested. While the allegations against the teacher are being investigated, the teacher will not be returning to campus and will have no contact with any students. At this time we do not have reason to believe that any of our students were affected.
While we do anticipate media coverage of the arrest, Loggers’ Run Middle School does not have any further details that we can provide.
Multiple sources told us that the arrest occurred shortly before 4 pm when school lets out. Readers told us they saw police at the school.
Webster teaches culinary and home economics at the school and also coaches girls basketball. He is 41 years old.
It is our understanding that the student he was sexting is female, a recent former student of his at the school, and currently attends an area high school. We do not know her name and would not release it if we did.
Loggers Run, on West Palmetto Park Road, is a highly rated middle school and students scores are among the highest in the county.
Update: From the blotter, Webster is still in custody and bond has not been set.
Booking Date/Time: 01/05/2016 18:09
Arresting Agency: 01-PBSO
Jacket Number: 0474133
Booking Number: 2016000526
CRUELTY TOWARD CHILD – TRANSMIT INFO HARMFUL TO MINORS
CRUELTY TOWARD CHILD – TRANSMIT INFO HARMFUL TO MINORS
We have received more information about the Loggers’ Run Middle School teacher who was arrested this past weekend. We previously reported that Ms. Sheena Studstill was arrested for Grand Theft.
We have now obtained the probable cause affidavit from the arrest. Please remember that all arrestees are innocent until proven guilty.
Ms. Studstill is accused of stealing over $1000 of merchandise by placing items in a purse while in a Best Buy store in Palm Beach Gardens:
The police had arrived and begun their investigation while Studstill was in the store. The arresting officer waited outside for her and escorted her to an office inside where they say they found the stolen merchandise in the purse.
The full probable cause affidavit is below:
We attempted again to get some kind of answers from the school district. The “Communications” Department should be renamed. As you can see at top their web page is down. Today when we called the middle school they forwarded us to a “Media Relations Hotline” number. We followed the instructions and that led us to an extension that was unavailable.
When we called the other day the receptionist did not seem to understand the English language, nor the workings of their phone system.
It is our understanding that Ms. Studstill has not been in the school much this year, and that her students have mostly had substitutes. After our last story we saw comments from readers that she once “OD’d” or passed out in front of her class, and also that she called one of her students “the N Word.” We have not been able to verify any of these incidents, nor get any answers from the school district as to what they’re doing to deal with this teacher.