Scott R. Wood won’t ever again be a licensed school teacher in Maine and his past should be known to any future education employers in other states, according to a spokesman for the Maine Department of Education.

Wood, 38, of Oakland, pleaded guilty Tuesday to unlawful sexual touching of a girl under the age of 18. Wood, a social sciences teacher and sports coach at Winslow High School, was forced to immediately resign from his job and surrender his state teaching certificate.

Although someone such as Wood would technically be eligible to reapply for a teaching certificate again, “I don’t think it’s likely they’ll get it,” said David Connerty-Marin, the education department spokesman.

“In theory, they can apply again,” Connerty-Marin said. “But each particular case is looked at individually by the department. Clearly, in a case where the teacher is convicted of a sex crime, it would be reviewed by the commissioner (of education).

“It’s hard to fathom that it would happen in a case like that.”

Even so, state rules do not outright bar someone such as Wood from reapplying for teaching certification. Rather, department rules point to general qualities teachers should possess in order to obtain certification, including not causing harm to children and exhibiting moral character, Connerty-Marin said.

“They can apply again, but they’re not going to get it,” Connerty-Marin said. “It would make it almost impossible. So if they were to apply for another (teaching) position in Maine, they would not be able to be hired.”

If someone such as Wood were to later move to another state and apply for a teaching position there, that person’s education certification history in Maine would be readily available, Connerty-Marin said. Maine submits information on teacher certification to a national clearing house, which would report whether a teacher’s certificate was revoked or surrendered, he said.

Up until a few years ago, Maine education officials were under tighter restrictions and could not disclose such certification information, Connerty-Marin said. The restrictions still apply if a criminal investigation is ongoing.

Criminal convictions, however, are another matter.

“If a school district or another state education department calls and asks for information on that individual, we would share the status of their certification,” Connerty-Marin said. “We would share that the certificate had been revoked, or surrendered, and give a general description of the circumstances involved.”


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