South Kitsap teacher pleads guilty to sexual misconduct

A South Kitsap High School teacher arrested for becoming sexually involved with one of her students pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct last week, a move that will effectively end her teaching career and brand her as a sex offender.

Ryann C. Springer, 25, who has been in custody since her May 20 arrest, faces another six to 12 months in jail for one count of sexual misconduct with a minor, which she was charged with after her relationship with a 17-year-old female student came to light last month.

Defense attorney Jeanette Dalton described Springer as “the most amazingly responsible person I have ever represented,” and said she hoped her client received the bottom end of the sentencing next month as the Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office has recommended in the plea agreement.

“She has accepted full responsibility for what she did, and wanted to spare the victim and the county a trial,” Dalton said, explaining that from “day one she stepped up to the plate and admitted her role in this.” Dalton said she hoped the judge took that into consideration at Springer’s sentencing July 22 in Kitsap County Superior Court.

“She is not whining, she is not complaining, and she is accepting of the process,” Dalton said, adding that she believed that “in no way, shape or form were (Springer’s actions) deviant or predatory, but she did cross a line that she shouldn’t have. And as a teacher and a school district employee, it was a breach of trust.”

Before her arrest, Springer was finishing her first year teaching at SKHS, where she had returned to work with her mentor Patrick Olsen in the school’s athletic medicine program. A graduate of SKHS, she completed the program herself before pursuing her degree at Eastern Washington University.

Dalton said she could not speak to her client’s future career plans or whether she planned to stay in the community, but that after her jail sentence is complete, Springer will most likely have another year of community custody and be required to register as a sex offender.

“That will dramatically alter everything — it is a significant challenge and comes with a great deal of shunning and ostracism,” Dalton said, explaining that Springer will not be able to teach again. “To my knowledge, no school district will hire a registered sex offender.”

Greg Roberts, assistant superintendent in charge of personnel, said the South Kitsap School District has begun the process of terminating Springer’s teaching contract, which includes notifying the state’s Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction that she breached her professional code of conduct.

He said that Springer holds a “Conditional Career and Technical Education Certificate,” and that to his knowledge, her pleading guilty to a charge of sexual misconduct with a minor is grounds for revoking her certificate.

Roberts said that without a certificate and as a registered sex offender, Springer would no longer be eligible to work as an educator.

The school district also notified Springer that as of May 21, she was on unpaid leave status “because you are unavailable to perform the duties of your employment contract due to your confinement in the Kitsap County jail.”

Springer was arrested after the Port Orchard Police Department’s School Resource Officer Bob MacFann received a complaint regarding suspicious activity between Springer and a student. The activity was alleged to be sexual in nature and include inappropriate text messaging, touching and other behaviors.

When the alleged victim was later interviewed by MacFann and a member of the county’s Special Assault Unit, the student admitted to having sexual contact with Springer that included inappropriate touching at the high school, and sexual activity that occurred at Springer’s home.

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