A former Sylvania City Schools substitute teacher who forged his credentials by creating a false teaching certificate was sentenced to four years of community control in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Wednesday.
As part of his probation, Benjamin Haynam was ordered to continue his schooling at the University of Toledo and to complete 150 hours of community service. Specifically, Judge Gene Zmuda said that Haynam should use his "gift" of teaching young people and so ordered that part of his community service hours be earned through tutoring.
Haynam pleaded guilty Nov. 5 to one count each of forgery and tampering with records. A former Sylvania City Schools substitute teacher and the son of a school board member and city council member, he admitted he created a fraudulent teaching certificate, including forging the necessary signatures, when applying for a full-time job in the district.
Haynam, 24, who most recently taught seventh grade science at McCord Junior High, was also ordered to reimburse the school district $21,883.34 for the money he was given in salary and benefits.
Judge Zmuda dismissed two additional counts each of forgery and tampering with records will per the plea agreement.
The 2003 Southview High graduate is the son of Pam Haynam, a longtime Sylvania school board member who was not re-elected in November's election, and Doug Haynam, a Sylvania councilman and former interim chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party.
Haynam's parents were present at Wednesday's sentencing.
Attorney Richard Kerger said Haynam walked with his graduating class at Kent State University in 2008 but unbeknownst to his family, did not officially graduate. He said that Haynam was having difficulty in his classes, likely because of a learning disability, but was too embarrassed to share his troubles.
As part of the information given to Judge Zmuda, Mr. Kerger presented more than a dozen letters from community members on Haynam's behalf - including a former student and the parent of a former student.