Teacher accused of stealing $14k as a Knoebels seasonal

Posted Monday, August 16, 2004 10:18 AM | Contributed by supermandl

A teacher working this summer as a hand-stamp cashier at Knoebels Amusement Resort has been charged with stealing some $14,000 in cash from the park. The Shamokin News Item says 30-year-old Jeffrey Smith of Shamokin was arraigned $30,000 bail and is scheduled to face a preliminary hearing on August 20th.

Read more from AP via WNEP/Moosic, PA.

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Monday, August 16, 2004 10:23 AM
The things teachers have to do to get by:( I'm glad that he admitted he stole the money.
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Monday, August 16, 2004 10:25 AM
You're kidding right? The teachers at my school drove the budget to the ground with the raise demands and crap.
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Monday, August 16, 2004 11:49 AM
As a teacher I will say that our salary is not enough to survive. Already for this school year I have spend $700 out of my own pocket to get my room together.
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Monday, August 16, 2004 11:52 AM
Jeff's avatar Dude... I suggest you don't go there. Teachers are generally the most underpaid professionals in the US. The problem is not your teachers, it's likely the idiot voters in your district that don't understand the value of education.
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Monday, August 16, 2004 12:32 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar The average teacher salary at Shamokin JSHS is $41,856 with actual salaries ranging from $25,403 to $53,972.

Who knows what this guy was actually making, but that gives you a range.

I'm not about to make commentary on whether that's underpaid, overpaid or whatever. I just don't understand what seems like sympathy towards this guy. Regardless of his situation, ripping of $14,000 was not the way to fix anything. Tons of people struggle to make ends meet - the difference is most of them don't take a summer job and rob the place blind.

Screw this guy. He just threw it all away and made his life much harder because he tried to take he easy (and dishonest) way out. I don't think I want that type of mindset teaching my kids anything - especially math.

Imagine his lessons on credit/debit ;)

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Monday, August 16, 2004 1:47 PM
That average salary isn't bad for the Shamokin area. The average place around here pays minimum wage or a little higher. The coast of living is low here too. The low side of that figure is probably what an average person makes around here. People are always thrilled when they find a job that pays $8 or $9 an hour here. Although for me to teach I'd want about triple that putting up with other peoples brats.

The way I look at it this guy has no business in teaching since teachers are considered role models and should be setting a good example. I guess it's good he didn't teach buisiness.

Remember last year Knoebels had money stolen by another employee as well.

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Monday, August 16, 2004 2:59 PM
"You're kidding right? The teachers at my school drove the budget to the ground with the raise demands and crap."

Spoken like a true high school student. I guess your school district gets what they pay for.

Do you think maybe your school district needs a bigger budget?

Not all teachers make sub-par wages, but few if any teachers are paid even close to what they deserve.

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Monday, August 16, 2004 3:38 PM
-The Knoebels employee should be exonerated and rewarded with a $100,000 bonus for raising awareness of salary deficiencies.
-Teacher salaries are too low.
-Teachers pay for stuff out of their own pocket.
-I know one teacher who personally buys diapers for her disabled preschool students. No joke.

Bill

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Monday, August 16, 2004 3:43 PM
Bill...that is truly sad. No teacher should have to spend money out of their own pockets.

Jeff really nailed it on the head.

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Monday, August 16, 2004 3:58 PM
As a Shamokin High School graduate I can honestly say I think our High School was basicly a joke. As long as you showed up you passed. Out of the 50 or so high school tearched I'd say 10 or 15 actually taught. The rest just went thru the motions. I just think as teacher should actually be there because they want to be and not just for a paycheck.

I know of kids who actually got 30's and 40's on tests and actually passed for the year.

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Monday, August 16, 2004 4:04 PM
All teachers have to spend lots of money out of their own pockets. School budgets for supplies are always minimal. Schools also generally don't pay for the continuing education required to keep your licensing. Teachers are evaluated in part on how their rooms look and in larger part on how their students learn. They are required to maintain licensing to keep their jobs.

Now the government allows teachers a couple hundred dollars per year as an income adjustment for all the money that they have to spend. Kind of adds insult to injury.

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Monday, August 16, 2004 4:29 PM
The point is that ANYONE STEALING money is wrong and I'm glad they were caught and that Knoebels will get their rightfully earned money back. I'd hate to think my paid attendance at Knoebels would be funding someone's shady behavior. Who cares if this person is a teacher, or if they were a retired senior or high school drop out. It doesn't matter. The behavior is wrong period.

edit: for spelling

*** This post was edited by coasterrod 8/16/2004 4:30:49 PM ***

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Monday, August 16, 2004 5:18 PM
First off...I did not steal a thing! :-)

Secondly, who is it that determines what is and is not a fair salary? Last time I checked, we all have the right to get and education and pursue whatever job and salary range we wish. I'm quite sure Mr. Smith knew what he was getting paid for the job he took!

I say this as a guy who works (as a physical therapist) in the Clark County School District, LV ,NV by CHOICE. I could make a lot more money working in home health, hospitals, or nursing homes full time. However, I CHOOSE to work in a school setting for LESS money becAuase I LOVE the kids and the hours. I get my summers off to ride coasters, as does my wife (assistant principle)! I buy toys/prizes/supplies for my students because I want to, not because I have to.

I certainly do not need people feeling sorry for my wages. I appreciate the concern, but I can assure you that teachers do just fine. his is especially true when you realize that the salary I earn is for 9 months! I work in a state that they (union) claim pays below the average by the way!

P.S. I could go on and on about the tax payer waste that goes on through the CCSD---yet you can be sure that next year when the state government is deciding the budget, our media will go on and on about how underpaid the teachers are. LOL!

P.S.S. We retire with 75% pension at tax payer expense. We get all sorts of tax breaks on home and retirement savings!

P.S.S.S. Did I tell you that we get summers off to travel the country and ride coasters? :-)

***I'll never get rich working in the school district in monetary terms, but I will live a rich life full of time and memories for my familty and the students I work with. I would not trade it for anything (shy of $150,000 per)! :-) I really don't need anybody saying I'm underpaid. I'm not!

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Monday, August 16, 2004 6:53 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar I agree with Gonch. I really don't care how much he makes....it doesn't excuse the fact that he was stealing from the park. They should not show any sympathy for the guy.

-Tina

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Monday, August 16, 2004 9:47 PM
I agree with the above,

P.S. For something after P.S., wouldnt you keep adding "P"s for Post? "Post Script", "Post Post Script", not "Post Script Script", lol, just wondering...

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Tuesday, August 17, 2004 10:03 AM
I agree with the fact that it doesn't really matter what he makes, he shouldn't have been stealing.

I do agree that teachers should be paid more and districts should get more money for classrooms. As I recently heard said, if you invested more money in training students, you would save money in almost every other government function. If students had a better education and learned more skills, not as many would feel the need to have to turn to crime and that would save the court system, police system and the jails money.

The problem is that the turnaround would take about 20 years to actually bear fruit, and none of the current politicians are ready to spend more money for 20 years to make a better system for the future...

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Tuesday, August 17, 2004 11:55 AM
Obviously, stealing isn't justified. I'm always amazed though how the local government in my area always has the money to put in more roads and sewers to support the developers, but can't afford to buy basic supplies for our public schools or maintain the buildings. My daughter attends a public high school in such poor physical condition that it's getting a little scary. Every year they kept putting off the rennovation of the school another year. Then they just decided to put it off until "after 2008".
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Tuesday, August 17, 2004 6:51 PM
This is a simple supply and demand issue!

There are plenty of teachers willing to work for the pay offered. It is a degree that is relatively easy to obtain versus those degrees that lead to higher wages (MD, MBA, law, etc). This, along with an obvious friendly work environment (in terms of work hours and vacation days) leads to an ample supply of qualified teachers.

This is really a chicken and egg scenario. IF there was a REAL teacher shortage, then there would not be enough teachers to meet the needs and voters would act accordingly to assure increased salaries. As it is, there is no REAL shortage, so there is no incentive to affect change in salary structure. There are plenty of people, like myself, that are happy to work for less money because we perceive the overall compensation to be worth it.

Furthermore, in my opinion, a salary increase should/would be followed by a comparable increase in the quality of student, and probably the standard thresh hold, at the college level who enter into education. It is sad, that the college of education is usually one of the least stringent, if not THE LEAST STRINGENT of all colleges to get accepted into on any given campus. This alone shows the priority that society puts on an educator is not that high.

However, the fact remains that there are plenty of bodies to fill the job. The compensation is commiserate with the effort and education needed to enter the marketplace. Everybody wants and thinks they deserve more money. Only the market determines IF this is the case. Sadly, the current market easily indicates that teachers are paid fair.

P.S. Did I mention that I’m going to Orlando for 2-3 weeks this December to hit all the parks? I’m going on the taxpayer dollar and a teacher’s pay scale. I’m quite grateful that I have this time off around the Holidays to do this. My non-educator friends do not have such a luxury. Couple this with my 10 weeks off this summer, and my 15 sick days per year and it is hard for me to preach to people that I’m underpaid at $40,000-$50,000 per!

P.S.S. Utah has some of the lowest teacher pay scales and lowest per pupil expenditures of any state in the Union. Yet their test scores are at the top. New York has some of the highest per pupil expenditures on education in the Union yet their test scores remain in the bottom 1/3rd. How can money be identified as the real culprit? Maybe we should look at what they are doing in Utah and try to mimic their actions. This is just an opposing thought for those of you in the “throwing money at the problem will solve it” group!

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Tuesday, August 17, 2004 7:10 PM
Jeff's avatar It's a good thing you're not in charge. Clearly you have no idea what the value of education is. Public education is not a free-market economy, it's a public institution.
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