The Washington Times-Herald

Community News Network

February 26, 2013

Sexting teacher sent more than 4,000 text messages to students

SUNBURY, Penn. — Michael Zack, 24, of Marion Heights, Penn. a former substitute teacher pleaded guilty in December to a felony count of unlawful contact with a minor and a misdemeanor of corruption of minors.

Zack is the nephew of the Shamokin Area School District Superintendent James T. Zack.

Zack originially was charged with sending approximately 4,300 text messages to two 17-year-old and two 16-year-old girls who attended Shamokin schools at the time. Many of the messages, which were sent between March 15 and Oct. 30, 2011, contained graphic sexual material, police said.

Zack appeared before President Judge Robert Sacavage, who read off a list of accomplishments Zack had achieved. Then the judge lectured him.

“You had reached academic success, and you did an internship for the Northumberland County Juvenile Court Services and you even were a Civil War re-enactor,” Sacavage said. “You hit some high notes and now have become an embarrassment to your family and community.”

Zack was hired as a 180-day substitute teacher in the district in August 2011 and was terminated by the school board in December 2011. He voluntarily signed an affidavit surrendering his teacher’s license, which had been suspended.

Sacavage asked Zack if he agreed with the court’s presentence report and evaluation.

“This says you have a sexual obsession,” Sacavage said.

“I disagree,” Zack said.

Sacavage said sending graphic material to minors was a serious problem.

Zack said that he didn’t necessarily initiate the contact, and Sacavage began to raise his voice.

“Are you telling this court that this is normal activity for someone who is a school teacher?” Sacavage asked.

“No, your honor,” Zack replied.

Sacavage then sentenced Zack to six months of house arrest, three years of intermediate punishment and two years of probation. Zack is not allowed to use a cell phone, a computer with an Internet connection or any form of social media during the probationary term.

“I want to tell the court I am truly sorry for my actions,” Zack told Sacavage. “There is not a day that goes by that I don’t regret what has happened.”

Sacavage told Zack he would monitor his progress.

Shamokin school board member Ed Griffiths said the district was short of teachers and Zack was well qualified for the substitute teaching position at the time he was hired by the school district.

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 17, 2014

  • VIDEO: Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 17, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 17, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Victimized by the 'marriage penalty'

    In a few short months, I'll pass the milestone that every little girl dreams of: the day she swears - before family and God, in sickness and in health, all in the name of love - that she's willing to pay a much higher tax rate.

    April 15, 2014

  • Allergies are the real midlife crisis

    One of the biggest mysteries is why the disease comes and goes, and then comes and goes again. People tend to experience intense allergies between the ages of 5 and 16, then get a couple of decades off before the symptoms return in the 30s, only to diminish around retirement age.

    April 15, 2014

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • bomb1 VIDEO: A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong

    The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
AP Video
Facebook
Clicker Ticker
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide