‘Teacher of the Year’ accused of inappropriate relationship with former student

Posted at 10:22 AM, March 9, 2023

By: Zac Self

NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (KGTV) — A California teacher, previously named a San Diego County teacher of the year, was arrested Tuesday after allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a former student.

According to the National School District’s superintendent, the teacher — identified as 34-year-old Jacqueline Ma — was arrested at Lincoln Acres Elementary School at around 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Jacquelina Ma teacher photo

This photo from the San Diego County Office of Education shows former Teacher of the Year Jacqueline Ma. (San Diego County Office)

In a press release, National City Police confirmed they were contacted on March 6 “by a concerned parent who suspected that her 13-year-old child was possibly having an inappropriate relationship with a former teacher.”

NCPD and school resource officers conducted an investigation into the matter, and “officers developed probable cause to arrest” Ma at the school on Tuesday morning.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said Ma was arrested on six felony counts of sexual misconduct with a child under the age of 14, including three counts of lewd and lascivious acts and three counts of oral copulation.

Ma was booked into the Las Colinas Detention Facility, but jail officials told KGTV on Tuesday evening that she was released on bail.

The National School District confirmed that Ma worked for Lincoln Acres, telling KGTV in a statement:

“We can confirm that the student no longer attends our district, and we are unaware of any other victims.

We know that our entire school community is as stunned as we were by this news. The district will cooperate with law enforcement and cannot comment any further on the pending investigation.

We will continue to do everything possible to keep our students’ safety, needs, and education first and foremost.”

Last August, Ma was named a teacher of the year by the San Diego County Office of Education for the 2022-2023 school year. Her arraignment is set for March 9 at 1:30 p .m. at the South County courthouse.

This story was originally published March 8 by KGTV in San Diego, an E.W. Scripps Company.

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