A former vocal music teacher in western Iowa who led choirs in award-winning performances is accused of having inappropriate conversations with a student.
Heidi Schwery, 37, a seven-year veteran of the Harlan Community School District, is scheduled to appear before an administrative law judge May 23 in Des Moines, according to the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.
She resigned Oct. 22, according to the hearing notice.
Schwery faces two counts, which are not criminal charges:
» Student abuse by soliciting or encouraging a romantic or otherwise inappropriate relationship with a student.
» Unethical practice by failing to make reasonable efforts to protect the health and safety of students.
The complaint that led to the accusations is confidential. But the notice says Schwery began the relationship and the two communicated via Facebook, text messages, telephone and in person. “The conversations were inappropriate for a teacher to have with a student,” the notice reads.
After the hearing, Judge Margaret LaMarche will propose what action, if any, should be taken against Schwery's teaching license. The board will make the final call.
The case could be dismissed, or Schwery could face discipline ranging from a reprimand to the suspension or revocation of her license.
Attempts to reach Schwery and Harlan Superintendent Justin Wagner on Friday were unsuccessful.
According to the high school's website, singers under Schwery's direction have been picked for the Iowa All-State Chorus, and her choir has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City and competed at the College of Staten Island.
She is a graduate of Wayne State College in Nebraska and began her career at the Sioux Central Community School District in northwest Iowa.
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