An elementary school teacher in the Newcomerstown Exempted Village School District has been suspended amid allegations she supplied alcohol and tobacco to older students and engaged in a sexual relationship with a student of Newcomerstown High School.
Jodi A. Kellish, 37, Port Washington, was placed on administrative leave while the allegations are investigated, Superintendent Jeff Staggs verified on Friday.
"She has been placed on administrative leave until further notice, until the investigation is completed," Staggs said. "The investigation is ongoing. The school district is cooperating and has been since the onset."
On Thursday, with warrant in hand, investigators of the Tuscarawas County Sheriff's Office searched Kellish's residence, confiscating a pair of cellular telephones in the process.
The telephones will be among the evidence to be analyzed by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation.
Staggs wanted to reassure the public of the district's commitment to the welfare of students.
"In light of the situation, it's important for the public to know there are very good people here," Staggs said, "very good people in charge of their children and in charge of their children's education.
"That's why we're handling this in a very serious manner."
A third-grade teacher, Kellish teaches at West Elementary. Since on administrative leave on Thursday, a substitute teacher has taken over her classroom duties, Staggs said.
The investigation was prompted initially in November when allegations surfaced that Kellish had supplied alcohol or tobacco products to high school students.
The allegation of sexual improprieties arose during the course of that initial investigation, authorities said.