Who is Jacqueline Ma? California Teacher of the Year Arrested for Having an Inappropriate Relationship with Ex-Student

Jacqueline Ma
Jacqueline Ma Cox

A National City teacher, previously named teacher of the year, was arrested Tuesday after allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with a former student.

According to the district, the teacher, identified as 34-year-old Jacqueline Ma, was arrested at Lincoln Acres Elementary around 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Teacher Charged with Sexual Misconduct, Lewd Behavior and Oral Copulation

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department said Ma, a sixth-grade teacher, faces 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.

Jacqueline Ma
Jacqueline Ma appeared in a local news segment after being selected for the "Teacher of the Year" honor. YouTube

Ma was named one of five 2022-2023 Teachers of the Year in an annual showcase of educators by Cox. In a profile about Ma announcing her award, Ma told Cox she "considers the relationships she maintains with her students her greatest accomplishments." Ma also appeared in an interview with a local news outlet during a segment covering the award.

School District Releases Statement

Ma was booked into the Las Colinas Detention Facility. The National Elementary School District confirmed that Ma was employed with Lincoln Acres.

"We can confirm that the student no longer attends our district, and we are unaware of any other victims," the district told 10News in a statement.

"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," the district added.

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

Ma was being held in county jail Tuesday in lieu of $100,000 bail, according to online jail records. Her arraignment is scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Chula Vista Superior Court.

This article was first published on March 8, 2023