HANOVER TWP. — Hanover Area School District Solicitor George Shovlin addressed the audience at Thursday’s school board meeting regarding recent criminal charges filed against senior high school social studies teacher Edward Evans.
Evans, who is the son of Board President Evelyn Evans, was suspended indefinitely without pay due to allegations that he had sexual relations with a Hanover Area High School student.
Reading from a prepared statement, Shovlin said the district was first made aware of the allegations last March and that the district immediately reported the matter to the Hanover Township Police Department.
“The school district and the police then conducted concurrent investigations, but there was insufficient evidence for the school district or the police to proceed any further,” he said.
By mid-December, the district received additional information, which was immediately reported to the police department, Shovlin said, adding that the investigation was then reopened.
“Mr. Evans was immediately suspended with pay from his position at that time, was required to turn in his building entry key card, was ordered not to enter school district property and not to have any contact with school district students, pending further investigation.
“Earlier this week, the Hanover Township Police filed felony criminal charges against Mr. Evans,” Shovlin said. As a result, Evans is now suspended “indefinitely, now without pay, pending the disposition of the criminal case or the receipt of sufficient evidence to proceed with an employment termination hearing,” Shovlin said.
He added that if Evans is convicted of the charges, or if the district obtains sufficient evidence to proceed with an employment termination hearing earlier, the district will seek to terminate Evans’ employment with the district and have his teaching certification permanently revoked by the state Department of Education.
Due to the confidential nature of the investigation, Shovlin said, most of the evidence isn’t available to the public or the district at this time.
Addressing rumors and innuendos about how the case may have been impacted because Evans’ mother is the board president, Shovlin said that Evelyn Evans immediately removed herself from the matter when it first surfaced last March.
“All interaction in this matter between the administration and the School Board has been with Mr. Joseph Steininger, vice president of the board and the rest of the board, excluding Mrs. Evans,” the solicitor said.
In other business, the board recognized Sean Kyle Reilly and Alexis Schutz as students of the month for November and December, respectively. The board also voted 8-0 to appoint to following extra-curricular personnel with Kevin Quaglia abstaining: James Richmond, JV girls basketball at $2,822; Denise Allen, jr. high girls basketball at $2,628; Jenn Harnischfeger, assistant jr. high boys basketball, unpaid; Matt Monahan, assistant jr. high wrestling, unpaid; William Gagliardi, assistant swimming coach, $1,495.
The board announced its upcoming meetings: a special meeting Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. for general purposes; work session on Feb. 3; regular meeting on Feb. 6.