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Former teacher is arrested

By: JENNIFER WILSON
November 7, 2007
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A former teacher in the Harrison and Fountain-Fort Carson school districts has been arrested on suspicion of possessing child pornography. Willard R. Colebank Jr., 55, of Woodland Park was arrested Monday on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a child after police found he owned at least a dozen compact discs containing photos and videos of children engaging in sexual acts, police detective Thomas Kinney said.
Colebank was released from the Teller County Detention Center on $10,000 bond, Kinney said. Colebank’s son found the CDs in his father’s car Oct. 30 and turned them in to police, Kinney said. A member of the family then told Colebank’s employer, Harrison School District 2, about the discovery, Kinney said. Colebank resigned from the district Oct. 31, school spokeswoman Jennifer Sprague said. Colebank had taught technology to 80 seventh- and eighth-graders at Carmel Middle School since August, Sprague said. He headed the district’s technology-focused 21st Century Curriculum Pilot Program. Sprague said school officials have examined all computer equipment available to Colebank but found no pornographic images. Officials also questioned his students, but found no evidence of inappropriate activity with them on school grounds, Sprague said. Background checks on Colebank before he was hired revealed nothing unusual, she said. “It was just something he did on his personal time,” Sprague said. Before joining the Harrison district this year, Colebank worked about four years in Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, first as a technology assistant at the high school for a few months, then as a social studies teacher at Fountain Middle School for two years, said Assistant Superintendent David Roudebush. From 2005 to the end of the 2006-07 school year, Colebank worked in the district’s central office as its assessment coordinator, working with student test score data, Roudebush said. The district received no complaints about Colebank, Roudebush said, and knew him as a good employee. “We were kind of surprised to have gotten that information.” Colebank’s first teaching job was with Fountain-Fort Carson, Roudebush said. Colebank had made a midlife career change, Roudebush said. The principals of both schools where Colebank taught have been notified about the arrest, Roudebush said, and students who may have experienced inappropriate situations with Colebank are asked to contact guidance counselors. Colorado Department of Education spokesman Mark Stevens said Colebank held a professional teaching license in secondary social studies and secondary physical education from 2001 to 2006. “It just simply lapsed,” Stevens said. Colorado court records show Colebank has no criminal history in the state.
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