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California ‘Teacher Of The Year’ Charged With Raping 16-Year-Old Student

Yucaipa, California – A California “Teacher of the Year” was arrested last week for allegedly raping a 16-year-old male student.

San Bernardino Sheriff Shannon Dicus said in a press release that the teacher, 38-year-old Tracy Vanderhulst, may have more victims.

“Detectives believe there may be additional victims and are releasing Vanderhulst’s booking photograph,” Sheriff Dicus noted.

He asked that anyone with any information about the incident contact the sheriff’s office right away.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s (SBCSD) Specialized Investigations Division Crimes Against Children Detail and the department’s Yucaipa Station is handling the ongoing investigation.

Vanderhulst, a married mother of two, was booked into the San Bernardino County Detention Center on May 18 on a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, the Daily Mail reported.

Her bail was set at $30,000.

It is unclear if the male juvenile victim, who was a student at the school where she taught, was in any of her classes.

Officials did not release any information regarding when or where the alleged incident occurred.

Police said the Yucaipa Calimesa Joint Unified School District (YCJUSD) has been cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

Vanderhulst taught math honors classes at Yucaipa High School and began working there in 2013, according to the Daily Mail.

The school said in a since-deleted tweet that Vanderhulst “offers up a rigorous mathematics curriculum and deep caring for her students,” the Daily mail reported.

She was chosen as “Teacher of the Year” in 2017.

“She epitomizes the educator so many desire to be – she is the kind and innovative teacher from whom we hope our children will grow; the educator who strives to engage all of her students from her intervention classes to her honors classes,” the school’s principal said at the time, according to the Daily Mail.

The YCJUSD issued a statement about the case late last week after Vanderhulst’s arrest.

“The safety and well-being of our students is our absolute priority, and we take these allegations very seriously,” the school district said.

“Prompt action shall be taken against the offending parties, as well as any other persons knowledgeable of the allegations who may have failed to act,” YCJUSD added. “We want to assure you that should the District receive future allegations of this against one of its employees or any affiliated persons, such allegations shall be promptly reported to law enforcement, as all District personnel are mandatory reporters.”

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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