© 2024 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
San Diego County's teacher of the year arrested, accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a child
Image source: YouTube video, KUSI-TV - Screenshot

San Diego County's teacher of the year arrested, accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a child

A California elementary school teacher recently lauded for her "commitment to students, teaching, and lifelong learning" was arrested Tuesday on child sex abuse charges.

KNSD reported that Jacqueline Ma, a sixth-grade teacher at Lincoln Acres Elementary School, faces three felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child and three felony counts of oral copulation.

According to District Superintendent Leighangela Brady, Ma was arrested at 8 a.m. on school grounds. The victim, allegedly exploited while under the age of 14, is reportedly no longer a student in the district.

"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," said Brady.

Ma, 34, was one of five educators named 2022-23 San Diego County Teachers of the Year.

Dr. Paul Gothold, San Diego County superintendent of schools, said, "The teachers we are celebrating here tonight are innovative in what they do and passionate about the students they serve. It’s an honor to be recognizing these amazing educators and individuals."

The San Diego County Office of Education page for the award states that Ma "considers the relationships she maintains with her students her greatest accomplishments."

Concerning Ma's reception of the award late last year, Kathy Melanese, principal at Lincoln Acres Elementary, said, "I can’t imagine a more qualified and passionate educator to receive this honor. The creativity, initiative, collaboration, and 100% dedication Ms. Ma has for her students and the school is immeasurable."

"When students leave Ms. Ma’s room, they are more confident students, more engaged citizens, and more thoughtful adolescents who know they are loved," added Melanese.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department indicated that the alleged pedophile was booked at the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility on $100,000 bond. She is due in court March 9.

Some Lincoln Acres parents told KNSD that upon reflection, some of Ma's behavior was questionable.

Aileen Carillo noted the special interest Ma paid her younger brother, a former student: "She went over the top. She would go to my brother's games in Tijuana every weekend. She went to one of his birthday parties, everything. ... Honestly, I used to tell my mom, 'Why is she always texting my brother?' And she had contact, too, but the way she was always checking in with my brother, I thought it was nice at first like she really cares, but I've had a lot of impactful teachers that didn't have to be that close."

According to her LinkedIn, Ma has worked in the National City School District since 2013. She previously worked in the San Diego Unified School District.

Ma told KUSI-TV in August, "Social and emotional learning and personal confidence is something that I try to push into my classroom and my students. And I can't really say that I know exactly what the magic formula is. I'm still working on that."

Sixth-graders are typically between the ages of 11 and 12.

San Diego Teacher of the Year Jacqueline Ma explains how she connects with distracted studentsyoutu.be

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

Want to leave a tip?

We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Want to join the conversation?
Already a subscriber?
Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon

Joseph MacKinnon is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@HeadlinesInGIFs →