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Perkins hasn’t determined Hiss’ fate

Alissa Widman Neese • Dec 20, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Hiss pled no contest this past week to possession of a dangerous drug, a charge associated with a May incident in which she allegedly distributed prescription-strength pain relief patches to a handful of students. The patches contained the drug lidocaine.

Erie County Common Pleas Court Judge Tygh Tone ordered Hiss to serve one year in a diversion program, during which she must abide to the following four conditions:

• Submit to random drug and alcohol screenings.

• Present proof of employment.

• Pay a supervision fee of $10 per month.

• Not leave the state without written consent from the probation office.

Hiss was a Perkins Schools health teacher and track coach this past school year. The district eliminated her position and several others this summer during district-wide staff reductions.

She was next in line for a position at Furry Elementary School this school year, pending the outcome of her case.

In early October, however, Hiss elongated her legal process by entering a plea of not guilty. Perkins Schools responded by filling the vacant position with then laid-off teacher Tim Zapadka.

Now that Hiss’ case is finished, determining who gets the Furry Elementary School job could get complicated.

Perkins school board members gathered Wednesday night for the first time since Tone ordered the diversion deal, but didn’t mention it or Hiss during the meeting.

When the Register asked superintendent Jim Gunner about the situation after the meeting, he said he didn’t have a comment at the moment.

“We haven’t made a decision on the matter” Gunner said.

Wednesday’s meeting concluded with a closed-door meeting to discuss district personnel, which could include future decisions related to the Hiss situation. No board action followed.

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