FARGO, N.D., Sept. 5 (UPI) -- North Dakota's 2014 Teacher of the Year appeared in court Friday to be arraigned on charges of having sex with a student.
Aaron Knodel, an English teacher at West Fargo High School has been out of the classroom since February, when he was placed on paid leave. He was suspended without pay last week.
During an appearance in Cass County District Court, Knodel was formally charged with five counts of felony corruption of a minor and solicitation of a minor. He was released without bail and ordered to return for a preliminary hearing in October.
When North Dakota United, the union representing the state's public school teachers, selected Knodel as the 2014 Teacher of the Year he said he grew up across from the high school in Beulah, N.D., where both his parents taught.
"It has been my honor to serve all of the at-risk senior students in my district for the past seven years," he said. "I take great pride in watching them don that cap and gown in the spring. Teaching is something akin to throwing many small pebbles into the middle of a large lake, hoping that the waves will one day lead ashore. I am fortunate enough, teaching seniors, to see some of those waves reach land."