Karen A. Wise, 49, no hometown provided, was charged by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General with misdemeanors of illegal use of a professional title and forgery. The charges were filed Sept. 24 and she waived her right to a preliminary hearing that day, sending the case to Luzerne County Court, Wilkes-Barre.
Arrest papers state:
Agents began investigating a Pennsylvania Department of Education complaint regarding Wise’s altered state teaching certificate on March 3. The document made it appear she earned an Early Childhood PK-4 certificate from Millersville University in order to work as a teacher with St. Paul’s Preschool in Wright Twp. However, Wise never had a certificate and Millersville University didn’t have a record of her attending the school.
When investigators interviewed Wise on Sept. 3, she said she worked for Wilkes-Barre Child Development Center as a preschool teacher and center director from November 2001 through September 2009, Nanticoke Area School District as a Pre-K Counts assistant teacher from September 2009 through June 2019 and at Crestwood Area School District as a para educator in special education from Sept. 5, 2019 through Nov. 1, 2019 before working at St. Paul’s from Nov. 18, 2019 through December 2019.
Wise apologized during law enforcement questioning, telling investigators she couldn’t afford the education required for certification but thought her on-job experience was better than that of those holding certificates. She admitted that she did not attend Millersville and that she purported to the child development center, Nanticoke and Crestwood schools that she had an associate degree in Early Childhood Education from Pennsylvania College of Technology.
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