Teacher accused of rape resigns from Lincoln High, surrenders teaching certificate

Staff writerFebruary 13, 2014 


Lincoln High School teacher Meredith Claire Powell walks into Pierce County Superior Court for her arraignment for two counts of rape of a child in the third degree on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. Powell was released on personal recognizance to her mother in Sequim.

LUI KIT WONG — Staff photographer Buy Photo

Meredith Powell, the 24-year-old Lincoln High School math teacher charged last week with child rape for having sex with students, has resigned from her job and surrendered her state teaching certificate, according to a letter from Powell received by Tacoma Public Schools Thursday.

Powell pleaded not guilty Feb. 7 to two counts of third-degree child rape and one count of communication with a minor for immoral purposes. Court documents say Powell is accused of several acts of sexual misconduct with three boys ages 15 to 17, including kissing, fondling and performing other sex acts – some inside her Lincoln classroom.

She is also accused of sending inappropriate text messages and suggestive photos of herself to the boys.

In addition, Tacoma Superintendent Carla Santorno on Thursday wrote to the state Office of Professional Practices with a complaint against Powell. The office examines allegations of unprofessional conduct by educators and reviews applications for certification when questions are raised about an individual’s moral character, personal fitness or criminal history.

Santorno’s complaint makes the reasons for Powell’s surrender of her teaching certificate part of the state’s formal record, school district attorney Shannon McMinimee said. That means if Powell were ever to re-apply to teach, the state would have access to information about what led to the certificate surrender, McMinimee added.

Powell was ordered released without bail last week. Her trial was set for April 24.

Debbie Cafazzo: 253-597-8635