33-Year-Old NJ Teacher Erica DePalo Arrested For Sex With Student, 15

Kim LaCapria

Montclair, NJ - Erica DePalo, 33, has been arrested in New Jersey after allegations she carried on an affair with a 15-year-old student in her classes.

DePalo was named "Teacher Of The Year" in Essex County just last year, and, at the time she received the honor, NorthJersey.com reports the educator as having said:

"I am merely a representative of all the hardworking dedicated teachers, especially those with whom I work at West Orange High School ... teachers who are committed to their students, who consistently advocate for their students, and who exceedingly go above and beyond their everyday duties and job descriptions.”

Back at the time DePalo earned the prestigious award, she was quoted as saying:

“I don’t have any children. And I always say that I don’t have any children to go home and take care of, but every morning and every day that I go to school I have 110 children that are very near and dear to my heart.”