A California high school teacher, who was once named "teacher of the year" has been arrested for having sex with a student, police said. Tracy Vanderhulst, 38, a teacher at Yucaipa High School, was arrested by authorities on Thursday night at around 11 pm and charged with statutory rape following an investigation.
Vanderhulst is accused of having sexual intercourse with a 16-year-old student, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said. She has been charged with unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Her bail has been set at $30,000. Authorities did not reveal if the 16-year-old victim is still a student at Yucaipa High School.
Sexual Intercourse with Student
Vanderhulst, a math teacher at Yucaipa High School, was charged with statutory rape on Thursday, following an investigation into claims that she had sex with a minor, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
When Police didn't say when or where the two reportedly had sex.
The victim was identified as a 16-year-old Yucaipa High School student. However, it is unclear if he is still enrolled in the school.
Vanderhulst was booked in San Bernardino's Central Detention Center. "Investigators and the Yucaipa Calimesa Joint Unified School District worked cooperatively to ensure a thorough investigation into this matter was completed," the sheriff's department said in a statement.
Investigators believe that there were more victims Anyone with additional information on the incident has been urged to contact the sheriff's department.
Vanderhulst, who was named the school's "Teacher of the Year" in 2017, has been married since 2007 and has two children with her husband Justin. According to a Facebook post from the high school, Vanderhulst was first hired at Yucaipa in 2013.
A school YouTube video titled 'The Classroom' is still online that shows Vanderhulst instructing a math honors course to a large number of freshmen.
In a now-deleted tweet, the school said she 'offers up a rigorous mathematics curriculum and deep caring for her students.'
Vanderhulst was commended with high appreciation after winning her honor in 2017.
"She epitomizes the educator so many desire to be- she is the kind and innovative teacher from whom we hope our children will grow; the educator who strives to engage all of her students from her intervention classes to her honors classes," the school's principal wrote.
The Yucaipa Calimesa Joint Unified School District, according to the authorities, has cooperated with the investigation.
On Friday, the Yucaipa Calimesa Joint Unified School District released a formal statement.
"The safety and well-being of our students is our absolute priority, and we take these allegations very seriously.
"Prompt action shall be taken against the offending parties, as well as any other persons knowledgeable of the allegations who may have failed to act. We want to assure you that should the District receive future allegations of this against one of its employees or any affiliated persons, such allegations shall be promptly reported to law enforcement, as all District personnel are mandatory reporters."
Detectives have made her picture public in the hopes that more witnesses will come forward as they investigate the possibility that there may be additional victims in the case.
This is the third time in less than a decade that a female teacher at Yucaipa High School has been found to have had a sexual relationship with a student.
In 2015, one teacher had a sexual affair with a student who was dating her daughter in 2015.
A strongly conservative hamlet, Yucaipa lies 10 miles east of San Bernardino in the county of San Bernardino, California.