A state panel Friday suspended the teaching certificate of a former Crawford Public Schools teacher for violating testing procedures during the 2015 state writing test.

The Nebraska State Board of Education voted 7-0 to suspend Ramona Hourt’s certificate for one year.

According to a transcript from the Nebraska Professional Practices Commission, Hourt took pictures of students’ computer screens during testing, discussed with students their answers, provided answers to students and arranged places where students could discuss test questions.

Hourt did not attend the hearing Friday, but in a letter to state officials, she apologized while disputing the state’s account. She said she was offering encouragement and support and didn’t think she was giving answers.

She took photos, she wrote, to protect students’ work against computer glitches.

Hourt wrote that she did not set up an area to discuss the tests. It was just an area where students could relax and get a snack during a break.

“None of the students were asking for suggestions to change their writing,” she wrote. “They were simply sharing their great words or their power verbs.”

In a separate action, the board revoked for five years the teaching certificate of former Springfield Platteview Community Schools teacher Justin Dannelly.

Last August, a Sarpy County judge sentenced Dannelly, 37, to a year in prison for a February incident in which authorities said he trespassed into a Sarpy County Girl Scout camp with an 18-year-old former student and gave her alcohol.

Dannelly, of Omaha, pleaded no contest to procuring alcohol for a minor, a misdemeanor.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1077, joe.dejka@owh.com

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