CONWAY — Kennett High School teacher Andy Shaw, who was convicted of disorderly conduct last week in Conway’s Circuit Court, had his teaching certification suspended by the New Hampshire Commissioner of Education, but that suspension was to run concurrently with a suspension that was imposed by the school board and which has already expired.
Shaw pleaded nolo contendere to a violation level charge of disorderly conduct after originally being charged in November 2018 of hosting an underage drinking party at his home for students.
Nolo contendere is Latin for "I will not contest" the charges. It is a plea made by a defendant that allows the judge to then find him or her guilty.
Shaw was ordered to pay a fine of $500 and a penalty assessment of $120.
Originally, Shaw was charged with hosting an underage drinking party as a Class B misdemeanor, which in New Hampshire is a crime that is punishable by up to a $1,200 fine.
Shaw was represented by attorney Don Ekberg of Ekberg and Associates of North Conway. The Conway police prosecutor was Sgt. William Strong.
On Tuesday, Department of Education Communications Director Grant Bosse said Commissioner Frank Edelblut decided to impose a concurrent suspension, which means that Shaw is credentialed and able to teach come fall.
The Conway School Board, after meeting behind closed doors Jan. 31, decided to suspend Shaw without pay until May 15.
Bosse said a suspension was a “middle step” between giving a reprimand and full revocation. Bosse believes the agreement was finalized Monday.
“Mr. Shaw had previously agreed to the suspension, which was contingent on the resolution of the criminal case,” said Bosse.
Ekberg said that he hopes the resolution of the state matter will be the end of the story.
“The deal was crystal clear,” said Eekberg. “No further action is going to be taken.”
According to both the original house party and the newer disorderly police complaints, Shaw was charged with holding an underage drinking party on Nov. 3, 2018, at about 10:33 p.m, at his home at 33 Southview Loop, off East Conway Road in Center Conway.
The violation-level disorderly conduct complaint signed by Strong has new language that says Shaw “knowingly created a condition in a public place which was hazardous to himself or another by an action that served no legitimate purpose, in that Andrew Shaw hosted a party where he knew persons under the age of 21 were going to be present and alcoholic beverages were going to be supplied, and he did nothing to prevent the underage persons from consuming alcoholic beverages.
The original complaint, written by Conway Police Detective Dominic Torch, said Shaw had knowledge “that people under the age of 21 possessed or intended to consume alcoholic beverages” during a party that he organized at his residence, and, while he was present at the residence, at least five individuals unrelated to him were present and under the age of 21, while at least one individual under the age of 21 consumed or possessed alcohol.”
The house party charge was dropped.
Shaw is a popular metals and machine tool teacher at Kennett. Under his tutelage, many students have built parts for NASA as part of the HUNCH (High schools United with NASA to Create Hardware) and have interned at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
In The Conway Daily Sun's recent Best of the Valley Awards for 2019, Shaw was voted best teacher in a Readers Poll.