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UPDATE: Board Fires Teacher, Cites 'Inappropriate Relationship'

Daniela Rossmann was suspended from teaching last week after misconduct allegations surfaced.

The New Trier Board of Education has voted to dismiss German language teacher Daniela Rossmann for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a student.

"The reasons the board cited for dismissal were related to an inappopriate relationship with a student," said Nicole Dizon, New Trier director of communications, following the meeting Wednesday morning.

Though one of the seven board members was absent, the decision was unanimous. Because the investigation is still ongoing, the school would not comment further on deliberations or the allegations, Dizon said.

The board discussed the personnel issue related to Rossmann in a special meeting at the Winnetka campus.

New Trier officials notified parents Monday of an investigation into misconduct allegations against Rossmann, who has worked full-time at the Winnetka campus since 2003.

No charges have been filed against Rossmann as of Tuesday, according to Andy Conklin, a spokesman for the Cook County State's Attorney's office.

Patrick Kreis, interim chief of Winnetka police, said the department is not conducting an investigation. Wilmette police are also not involved.

Daniel Rissman, a 2010 New Trier graduate who attends the College of William and Mary, said he was Rossmann's student for three years.

"Frau Rossman and I had a warm but professional relationship," Rissman wrote in a Facebook message to Winnetka-Glencoe Patch. "In my experience, she typically always had a positive relationship with her students. She took great interest in the success of her students inside and outside of the classroom. These allegations are very out of character for her.

"I truly do not believe that these allegations are true, but rather that they are the result of an immature rumor."

The phone number for Rossmann listed on the New Trier website is not working and she has not responded to an effort to reach her by phone.

The full text of the e-mail is below. Check Patch for more updates.

Dear Parents:

Last week, New Trier received allegations of misconduct by one of the school’s faculty members, German teacher Daniela Rossmann. On the day that these allegations were reported to school officials, New Trier removed Ms. Rossmann from her teaching duties pending the outcome of an investigation; the proper authorities were notified as well, and the investigation is ongoing.  Ms. Rossmann has taught German at New Trier since 2003, and has been working full-time at the Winnetka Campus.

At this time, providing further details would jeopardize the investigation. We take this matter very seriously, and we are committed to providing a safe environment for all of our students. We understand that you may have questions and concerns. Please be assured that we will provide additional information when we can.

We are prepared to help students who may want to talk about this issue. A team of counselors from our Social Work Department will be available for students who need any support throughout the week. Social Workers also will be present in Ms. Rossmann’s classes on Tuesday and as needed.  Please feel free to contact me (847.784.6109) or the Winnetka Campus Principal Dr. Tim Dohrer (847.784.2200). 

Sincerely,

Dr. Linda Yonke

Superintendent

—Emily Ferber contributed to this story.

jarmit March 20, 2011 at 08:30 AM
This is link bait. Also a largely pointless article. Churnalism, not journalism. Let's get the facts before we start making a lot of uninformative, sensationalist articles. Unless Patch wants to be just as irritating as every other outlet, it should cut the crap.
Tonny P March 21, 2011 at 01:18 PM
No surprise! Teachers in public schools are known for doing this all the time. It just seldom makes the news.
Matt March 22, 2011 at 03:04 PM
Really? "All the time"? Because those at private religious schools or heads of congregations NEVER EVER have relationships with minors, do they??
David Zacher March 22, 2011 at 03:23 PM
I stand by my earlier comment. That this whole thing is inappropiate because all the facts are not known. This teacher may be totally innocent and her interest in a student could be blown way out of proportion. Way back in 1967 when I was senior in a HS in NY a teacher was accused of molesting a young young girl. Compounding the fact that the girl was white and the teacher was one of the only black teachers in our school. He was fired on the rumor , but there was such a protest that a public hearing occured where a NAACP lawyer took up his cause. The upshot was the girl had just seen To Sir With Love where a black teacher makes a great difference in an English school. She did not do well in this teachers class and made up the entire story. I obviously don't know the facts in this case but in my case the teacher was found innocent but the scars of the rumor always remained.
Ashley April 05, 2011 at 06:22 AM
If you knew the teacher like i did then you would realize that all of this is just not like her. Rossman is a very sweet and caring woman and my advisor (home room teacher) is her best friend and she personally doesn't believe any of these allegations. If her closest friend doesn't believe it then why should anyone else??

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