Teacher of Year under investigation
WEST FARGO — The 2014 North Dakota Teacher of the Year has been on paid administrative leave for a half-year while he’s being investigated for a possible crime.
Aaron Knodel, a decorated West Fargo High School English teacher and coach, has been under criminal investigation since at least Feb. 21, according to West Fargo School District memos The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead obtained through an open records request.
The nature of the investigation is not documented in the memos, and no charges have been filed against Knodel in a North Dakota or Minnesota court.
When contacted by phone last week, Knodel declined to comment on the matter.
West Fargo Schools Superintendent David Flowers wrote to school board members Feb. 21 to tell them an investigator had informed him that a teacher was being investigated for a possible crime.
Because The Forum’s records request specifically asked for records pertaining to Knodel, Flowers said that memo and subsequent board updates on that issue fell under the open records request.
West Fargo Police Chief Michael Reitan confirmed that a case involving a West Fargo schools staff member had been forwarded to the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation.