Superintendent under investigation for inappropriate relationship with student

December 13, 2009

templeton highBy KAREN VELIE

San Miguel Joint Union School District board officials have hired an investigator to look into allegations that 55-year-old Supt. Dean Smith had an inappropriate relationship with a former student.

“The school board is concerned and they are investigating, but we are not permitted to discuss the issue at this time,” a board member said.

Smith, a former Baptist minister, recently left his wife of more than 30 years for “Anne” (not her real name), a young woman he began “mentoring” while she was in the sixth grade. Supporters of Smith claim the relationship did not become intimate until after she turned 18.

Earlier this year, board members took their concerns to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department. The investigation, which included interviews with Smith, “Anne” and her mother, concluded that nothing illegal occurred.

“We found no evidence of criminal activity,” said Rob Bryn, sheriff’s public information officer.

CalCoastNews tried to contact “Anne” for comment, but she could not be located.

Smith, who has been the head of the San Miguel School Joint Unified School District for four years, did not respond to requests for comment from CalCoastNews.

Despite the fact that the sheriff’s probe found no illegal activity, some board members and law enforcement officials nevertheless question the thoroughness of the sheriff’s investigation. Just hours after the first report had been made to law enforcement, someone allegedly warned Smith about the impending investigation.

Sheriff Deputy Clinton Cole, the officer assigned to the San Miguel Joint Unified School District beat, is a friend of Smith’s, and at one time lived on Smith’s property.

CalCoastNews interviewed more than a dozen teachers, school officials and law enforcement officials while gathering information for this article. Many have asked to remain unnamed because district officials have asked them not to discuss the issue.

Smith, then principal of Templeton Middle School, first met and began spending time with “Anne” when she was in sixth grade in about 2003. One teacher describes how Smith would ask her to treat the girl differently than the other students.

“He was very protective of her,” the unnamed teacher said, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of losing her job. “He said she came from a troubled home.”

Smith continued his relationship with the girl after he left Templeton Middle School for his current superintendent position in San Miguel. According to co-workers, Smith would explain that he spent time “mentoring” the girl because she was facing serious health problems and had a problematic home life that included an uncle who had been imprisoned for allegedly molesting her.

“Anne” graduated from Templeton High School in June, shortly after she turned 18. In July, Smith took her to a San Luis Obispo County Office of Education board meeting in which school officials discussed inter-district transfer agreements. When some of his fellow area superintendents realized the teenager accompanying Smith was not his niece, they began questioning what Smith was doing there with the teenager.

“He groomed this young lady for this,” a local school superintendent said.

Last month, Smith and “Anne” arrived hand in hand to the yearly Elegant Evening in Paso Robles, where some onlookers questioned the San Miguel superintendent’s behavior as “inappropriate” for a ranking school official.

“He was grabbing her. .  . ,” a school official said. “I find this scandalous.”

Meanwhile, some concerned parents have pulled their children from the district as investigators continue to look into when the relationship became intimate.

“Anne’s” MySpace comments report that she is in a relationship, though she does not mention who her boyfriend is or when the relationship began.

She does, however, provide an “About Me” profile that describes her feelings about school.

“I can’t stand school,” she says. “I’m just trying to get by. I’m ready to move on with life. I hate hearing the alarm in the morning just to know that the only thing my day holds is school filled with nonsense and ridiculousness. I reach for the day when I get to say goodbye Templeton High, it has been nice knowing you….”







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143 Comments

  1. Vagabond says:

    Well, N. County who are you going to hire now to do what you are too lazy to do yourselves?
    Kick out all the lying cheerleader thieves and mind washing pedophiles and what’s left? I know! Jesuits!
    Uh, OK maybe not them, the boys might be irreversibly emotionally damaged and end up, ghasp!, GAY.
    Think I’ll start a torch store in Tempelton,
    Post in sympathy to Booty’s being kicked.

    (-19) 25 Total Votes - 3 up - 22 down
    • cheseburger says:

      This is an overall summary of all your posts, you think coercing young and not fully developed mentally challenged, physiologically injured young girls, is okay because of words printed or not printed on paper, wait until one of these young ladies fathers get to have some words with you, the conversation might get heated and in turn you my friend would be treated to a tasty knuckle sandwich, we do however agree on one thing, we should not send kids to war, especially before they can get drunk enough to kill! Now go to work and stay out of the penny arcades too.

      (4) 12 Total Votes - 8 up - 4 down
  2. Robert1 says:

    Booty,take your meds and stop staring into the sun,it will continue to damage the 2 brain cells you have left.

    (5) 13 Total Votes - 9 up - 4 down
  3. Booty JuJu says:

    Bring’em Young.

    (-8) 22 Total Votes - 7 up - 15 down
    • MAD HATTER says:

      Wow! Disgusting!. No matter how you paint this picture, it is wrong. The board should be doing more than just trying to get rid of this guy. Another good example of our local sheriffs dept flopping on a real case. Again, disgusting.

      (8) 30 Total Votes - 19 up - 11 down
    • Cindy says:

      Hahah Booty, good one. LOL

      (-7) 15 Total Votes - 4 up - 11 down
  4. d.a. says:

    Interestingly, another Smith, Joseph Smith, had as many as 30 extra chicks, reportedly as young as 14 years old. He was able to start his own religion. Now, over a hundred years later, millions of dudes in pressed white shirts walk and ride bikes all around trying to tell people about the amazing crap that he made up. Wow! He was also tarred and feathered and eventually killed by a mob though. There are always differing opinions I guess. So does baggin extra chicks make you less of a man, or mor-man? Maybe both. But hold on before you all go assuming that we have ourselves a baby coddler and interpreting every interaction you ever had with the man as “gross”. Hey, she probably looks like a grownup, it’s confusing. Confusion, mix that with some stupidity and a mid life crisis and many of us could find ourselves in such a predicament. Maybe not exactly the same, but I bet we will all be caught violating even our own set of standards at some point. So before we all head out as one mob to cast our stones, let us hope for the best where hope is still alive. Well Jo is dead and gone, maybe he is living on in a spirit world populating his kingdom planet with all those underage girls…maybe not. But for the latter-day-smith…let this be the lowpoint. Send the young girl home to her parents and embark on a new journey in the direction of dignity and self respect.

    (3) 25 Total Votes - 14 up - 11 down
    • cheseburger says:

      Good post! We all have the same rights, but what if he were a homeless bum instead of a superintendent, Hum, any feed back, at least she will eat better now!

      (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
  5. Thoroughly Sick and Disgusted says:

    Kudos to you Karen, finally someone reports the truth, minus the “adult” aged “child’s” real name, why was that left out, we all know it! The article talks about her MySpace account, but her Facebook relationship status that states “It’s complicated.”

    Facts: EX-Baptist Minister, Deacon in his church, school official, husband, father, grandfather. No it is not legally wrong NOW at 18, but get real, it is morally wrong and absolutely disgusting, embarrassing and not to mention devastating to his wife and family. Yes they were seen by many at Elegant Evening, and not just as “friends.” Public displays of affection all around! Special treatment at school, YES!

    Facts not reported: the confusion, devastation and all out mental torture to the girl students that had him at TMS, mine included. To think I trusted this man with my daughters just makes me ill. I thought having a Principal that looked after our kids, took special interest to make sure they were ok in devastating events and was a religious man in a public school totally awesome, boy was I wrong and that HURTS as a mother!

    She is not the only child that needed assistance from a troubled home life. There are county government agencies for that, which do not include sick child molesting authority figures. I sure hope the San Miguel School District finds a legal way to protect their students from this man.

    (30) 44 Total Votes - 37 up - 7 down
    • Hannah says:

      I am wondering why “her” parents have allowed this relationship to continue…she still lives at home. What kind of parents are these? I know that if I had a daughter, I would NEVER EVER allow her to “hang out” with a MUCH older man, any man…even the pope himself, under any circumstances. That is purely wrong. I also wonder where her pastor is in all of this…he denies that anything is going on…wake up, people, who is kidding whom here. Somebody needs to “man up” and put their foot down and say “no” to this relationship. It matters not if it is sexual – it is wrong even if it is platonic as they claim it is. He is still a much older married man- I surely would not want MY daughter to hang out with him. I don’t care if she is 18 or not- she is still hardly an adult and the parents should open their eyes and NOT allow this relationship to continue. They (the parents) have allowed this man into their homes and even included him in Holiday celebrations….that is just wrong . Parents of “anne” take a stand for what is right. Your daughter is cavortin around town with a MARRIED man and no matter what they call their relationship..mentoring, friendship, platonic, romantic-it matter’s not- it is wrong, wrong wrong and you should be ashamed that you allowed this, as should her pastor!

      (25) 37 Total Votes - 31 up - 6 down
      • wildchild says:

        dude her parents are thrilled shes married to him they think hes a catch and will NEVER rat him out

        (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
  6. slojo says:

    Vagabond….I hope you are not a parent. What Chese thinks is immoral now has everything to do with how it will affect his daughter when she is eighteen…..it’s called good parenting. You have to set an example for your kids and teach them right from wrong and most importantly about the consequenses of thier choices. What he teaches her now at this young age will stick with her the rest of her life.
    If you think there is nothing wrong with an eighteen year old being with a man in his fifties you are just as sick as he is. There is absolutely no legitamite reason a normal fifty-something year old man should be with an eighteen year old girl-and vice versa. Something is wrong.

    (15) 21 Total Votes - 18 up - 3 down
    • Vagabond says:

      Not a parent, but I do see, and just maybe because I’m NOT a parent my view has some worth.
      Like I said, If the skills are there and he’s LUCKY his daughter will turn out to be the next Pres. o America, Yea!
      Now let’s look at the age differential prejudice you have.
      Why is it immoral for a fifty year old guy to have a 18 year old wife?
      What religious decree or for that matter ANY decree says this is immoral?
      Sick?
      Just maybe ( and as far as we know by this article) She loves him and he loves her, and are seeking the happiness that is secured by our constitution, and they, being adults, are simply exercising their RIGHTS AS AMERICANS.
      I think the sick folks are the ones that deny our rights, Don’t you?

      (-19) 31 Total Votes - 6 up - 25 down
      • kittie says:

        It is SICK because she has no life experiences at the age of 18!! Even if he was 25 It still wouldn’t make it “better”! And her rights were taken away from her by this sociopath that has been brainwashing her since she was in middle school. THINK Before you claim that RIGHTS are being stepped on!

        (8) 22 Total Votes - 15 up - 7 down
        • Elle says:

          Oh goodness. There is in no way any proof to him “brainwashing” her. Maybe she is completely aware of the situation and chooses for it to be like that. And besides, she is an adult and is making her own decisions and it’s not our place to decide if that’s ok or not. This isn’t the first time people with a large age gap are interested in each other(if that’s what it is) and it sure as heck wont be the last.

          (-12) 24 Total Votes - 6 up - 18 down
          • Cindy says:

            Anne most certainly was coerced by this man and has no way of even knowing that. She has no real life experiences and this has gone on from the time that she reached puberty. Anne is a victim of a pervert IMO. Eventually as she gets older , she will come to realize this and then God Help Smith. That is how I predict this outcome, its inevitable.

            (3) 13 Total Votes - 8 up - 5 down
        • Vagabond says:

          Kittie, The nations foremost expert on morality and legality!
          I base my arguments on the Constitution.
          Name one single document, religious or secular that empirically
          states that a 25 year age difference in consenting adults is “Sick”
          I’m waiting.

          (-6) 16 Total Votes - 5 up - 11 down
          • Cindy says:

            Counseling a child from the age of 12 and then having sex with her when she is (supposedly) legally of age is SICK. If he had a license to practice counseling it would be revoked.
            BTW I seriously doubt that he waited until she was 18 but she won’t admit that until she grows up (if she ever does) and figures out what he has taken from her.

            (9) 17 Total Votes - 13 up - 4 down
          • cheseburger says:

            Vagabond means homeless, and I guess you flunked mathematics, because fifty five minus eighteen is, I don’t give out answers, buy a calculator! And bush did away with the constitution anyway! No other documents that I know of exist, except maybe, common sense, and to all the people who give me minuses, thanks, I’m not here to win any popularity contests, suck it up, you read it, that’s good enough for me!

            (2) 10 Total Votes - 6 up - 4 down
          • Vagabond says:

            Cheesy, All who wander are not lost.
            Here is a little clue for your entertainment.
            I was replying to Kittiie who wrote:”Even if he was 25 It still wouldn’t make it “better”! (50 minus 25= 25!)
            Now take your shoes off so you can count to twenty and add five.
            Go ahead insult me all you want, the beauty of being anonymous is that attacks against the messenger just bounce off and land in a pool of disorganized vowels and consonants at the bottom of the post,
            Here let me reorganize your thoughts in a meaningful manner:
            …… I didn’t read the posts and I am an ignoramus….
            There, that’s way better than insulting my math skills.
            You are welcome!

            (-5) 9 Total Votes - 2 up - 7 down
          • kittie says:

            !

            (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
      • Cindy says:

        You seem to be missing the point that he started ‘mentoring’ her when she was 12 years old and ended up in bed with her by the time she was 18. He crossed the line and took advantage of a confused, needy little girl and his position. His behavior was highly unethical, immoral and obviously self serving. He betrayed the trust placed in him by everyone.
        If she met him at 18 and decided that she liked older men it wouldn’t be a big deal but that isn’t how this happened. He ‘mentored’ her into bed is what happened. That dirty old man.

        (10) 18 Total Votes - 14 up - 4 down
        • LimeJuice says:

          its not like she is forever commited to him, she has a right later on in life if she wants to keep dating him.

          (-3) 3 Total Votes - 0 up - 3 down
      • cheseburger says:

        Moron it depends on the brand of diapers he will wear, DEPENDS or SERENITY now? And to correct your reading comprehension and attempt, to fool the public he is fifty-five. Sorry to call you a Moron, but if the shoe fits the Chese will put it on!!!!

        (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
        • Vagabond says:

          Oh, 55 eh, Well that makes all the difference,
          55 years= 1/12 a normal lifespan. vs. 50 at 1/14
          Yep, morality has a definite cut-off line in N.County
          I am simply amazed at the obtuseness!

          (-4) 6 Total Votes - 1 up - 5 down
          • Vagabond says:

            Sorry, got it backwards, wish we could edit.

            (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
          • Cindy says:

            So an average lifespan is 660 years !

            (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  7. Vagabond says:

    Cheese, I would suggest that you are living in some kind of fantasy world if you think that what you might consider immoral now will have any effect on your daughter when she’s eighteen, thirteen years from now.
    You may be lucky, and your parenting skills just might do the trick, but there is no guarantee.
    You just might have to accept it if she picks someone even WORSE than Mr. Smith, He might ever be her same age!
    Will you then rant and rave about the poor choices your adult offspring make?
    I don’t think so, I’ll wager you would go hide under a rock.
    Let the investigation go forward, and if there is no legal impropriety, suck it up and admit that there are more ways to achieve happiness than what resides in your limited intellect.

    (-5) 13 Total Votes - 4 up - 9 down
  8. slojo says:

    This relationship was and is completly INNAPROPRIATE. No matter what the girls home situation was, Smith was wrong. If he was really concerned about her he would have taken the appropriate steps to get her help. I have 2 girls, ages 5 & 7 and this makes me so mad. If I ever heard of a teacher/principal even looking at my daughter in a questionable way I would make sure he/she was never near her again. When you are an adult and in an authoritative position like that you had better watch yourself cause I am watching you. It’s even rediculous today that he is with her…..what could they possibly have in common? NOTHING. So irritated….

    (14) 18 Total Votes - 16 up - 2 down
    • cheseburger says:

      Sorry to monger all over this blog but my little girl is five and I’m with you, if in the future, some school official takes a special interest in my daughter, and/or crosses the line, the cheseburger would make him into hamburger, you write,”This relationship was and is completely INNAPROPRIATE,” I second this and have your back!

      (8) 14 Total Votes - 11 up - 3 down
    • kittie says:

      ME TOO! No teacher should even come close to this. and I think its because we dont take anybody out back and shoot them any more!

      (4) 14 Total Votes - 9 up - 5 down
      • cheseburger says:

        Right on, kitty if I weren’t married and faithful, I’D SCRATCH YOU UNDER THE CHIN, THANKS! P. S. you must have misread my previous blog, we are on the same side, believe the same thing, some confusion is apparent, unless you approve of this nut case.

        (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
        • kittie says:

          OH no! I don’t support this sociopath! Please remember the first year he was in this county in Templeton he made comments to some of my friends! I think I was in reference to vagabong!
          LOMAO! Thank you for the good giggle!

          (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
    • Cindy says:

      I’ll tell what they have in common, he is mentoring her in the ways of , oh never mind I won’t say it,

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
      • zaphod says:

        I imagine she has more power in this affair then gossip mongers would be comfortable admitting, she may have this guy wrapped around her finger, doing things she wants done. Sex is power.
        posturing Anne as victim may not be correct .Mary Kay Letourneu was seduced by a fourteen year old man, while she was married with four children, (after she gets out of prison they all live happily ever after), “it was the first time in my life I felt love “she said, “she is my life!” he said. The only real victims in the whole affair were the babies who did not go to prison with their mother saddest thing in the world a motherless baby.

        (-2) 8 Total Votes - 3 up - 5 down
        • Cindy says:

          Mary Kay also went to prison for 7+ years. I wouldn’t be so fast to say they lived happily ever after, she is now approaching 50 and he is 26, we shall see.
          Granted – It’s a strange one.

          (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  9. Dexter says:

    Based on the nature of the posts I am going to make an educated guess here and sugget that Elle is the young lady (Anne) in question. My heart and intuition tells me this is the case.

    If I am right, then I will implore this young lady to seek the help of professionals because you are indeed a victim and there are people who will advocate for you and who can help you. If your friends know the truth they can show their love and help you too by standing up for you and contacting the authorities. It only takes one person to make a difference in this world.

    The following link and phone number can help you
    http://www.sarpcenter.org/services/crisis.htm 805 545-8888

    (9) 21 Total Votes - 15 up - 6 down
    • Elle says:

      Sorry to disappoint you but I am not Anne. I have two daughters around her age though and feel strongly that this situation is being blown out of proportion without the facts.

      (-6) 24 Total Votes - 9 up - 15 down
      • cheseburger says:

        Hey Elle can’t the chese date one of your girls, when she turns eighteen, I surf and am in shape and quite handsome for a man over FIFTY! If they saw me surfing they might be intrigued enough to go to a matinee with me for some Pepsi and popcorn, better rethink your opinion. This guy took Anne to the movies and opened the bottom of the popcorn box and inserted something hot, but not completely editable, unless you are a cannibal, get it. Better to leave one’s mouth shut and be thought an idiot then open it and remove all doubt. That’s just my opinion, but if one of your daughters married me (which would be completely legal when they turn eighteen), would you want them burdened with changing my serenities, in another ten years or so. Would you really let your daughters date men over fifty? Seems to be enough evidence that they are a couple.

        (0) 10 Total Votes - 5 up - 5 down
      • kittie says:

        Except that you or your daughter weren’t “hit upon” by him! Like Many girls 17 years ago were in TEMPLETON!

        (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down