Perkins hasn’t determined Hiss’ fate

Perkins Schools officials haven’t yet determined how former coach Tracey Hiss’ recent plea to drug charges will impact her employment with the district.
Alissa Widman Neese
Dec 20, 2013


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.



I think this is a joke. She shouldn't of done it, but is it the same punishment she would of received for handing out a Tylenol? Because you can buy these over the counter or online. I think the teachers that have sexual relations with students get less penalty!


I think it's a joke that you can lie to the police and say the kids broke into her office and stole the patches! She should be fired! What if the police would of believed her and went after the students? I don't want my kids to learn from a person like that.



That's the most egregious problem of the whole situation. Lying to police and blaming students to cover your mistake magnifies a small transgression ten fold.

She has lost the trust of the school administration, parents and the general public.

For that problem alone she should not be rehired and her teaching certificate should be revoked.

She was entrusted to protect children not throw them under the bus. She needs to be held to a higher standard than the general public.


If Tracy is to be punished for providing a skin patch, then what punishment is coming for the wrestling coach that handed out prescription pills? He was given a slap on the wrist?



If Ms. Hiss had not lied to police and blamed her students we would not be having this discussion. It's not the initial mistake she made. It's the lying and total disregard of her students that has the school and the public concerned.