Erica DePalo, a former Essex County, New Jersey, 'teacher of the year,' admitted to having sex with a 15-year-old boy, who was part of her honors English class at West Orange High School.
According to NBC Philadelphia, the 33-year-old DePalo pleaded guilty to child endangerment today. In return, county prosecutors will recommend that DePalo get lifetime parole supervision when she is sentenced in April.
DePalo will also have to register as a sex offender and forfeit her teacher's license.
DePalo was initially charged with aggravated sexual assault and sexual abuse, and could have gotten up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
DePalo made a video after winning Essex County Teacher of the Year in 2011.
“I don’t have any children,” DePalo said in the video. “And I always say that I don’t have any children to go home and take care of, but every morning and every day that I go to school I have 110 children that are very near and dear to my heart.”
DePalo has worked at West Orange High School since 2003. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University and a master’s degree from NYU.
Source: NBC Philadelphia