BELFAST, Maine — A high school social studies teacher who pleaded guilty Tuesday to criminal operating under the influence was sentenced to spend 72 hours in the state’s alternative sentencing program.
Katelyn Ross, 27, of Belfast teaches at Mount View High School in Thorndike, where she also is a junior varsity basketball coach. She represented herself during her arraignment, according to Waldo County Deputy District Attorney Eric Walker. Judge Patricia Worth presided over the hearing in Belfast District Court.
According to Walker, Ross had a blood alcohol level of .16 percent, or twice the legal limit, when she got into a single-vehicle accident on Sept. 14 on the North Searsport Road in Frankfort. She snapped a telephone pole in half in the accident, which was reported to police by her Onstar navigation system, he said.
The alternative sentencing program is designed for first-time, nonviolent offenders who have never served any time in jail, Walker said. Ross’ stint will take place in May, when she and other inmates will be sent to do some work at a location such as a camp or school.
She is currently out of jail with bail conditions set that include no alcohol, he said.
Heather Perry, the RSU 3 superintendent, said that school officials have been aware of Ross’ situation from the beginning.
“We’ve taken appropriate measures to ensure student safety,” Perry said.
She confirmed that Ross was still employed as a teacher and basketball coach at the school. Although Ross was the National Honor Society adviser last year, she is no longer advising that group, Perry said. The superintendent did not say whether that change was connected to Ross’ accident and criminal charge.