Tonganoxie The Kansas State Board of Education has revoked the license of former Tonganoxie Elementary School principal Jerry Daskoski.
Kevin Ireland, an attorney for the state education department, said Daskoski's license was revoked last month because of felony theft charges filed against him in Wichita. The revocation included Daskoski's license to teach elementary school and work in school administration.
Daskoski resigned from his position in December, saying he needed to spend more time with his wife and family.
The charges stem from a Nov. 25, 2005, incident at a Sam's Club warehouse store in Wichita where Daskoski concealed a $1,555 Sony 31-inch television in a box that previously held a file cabinet, according to the Sedgwick County District Attorney's Office. He also concealed a $188 DVD player in another box that had contained a less expensive item.
When he checked out, he paid $160.77 for the TV and $16.44 for the DVD player.
Daskoski was arrested and placed on $2,500 bond, after which he entered into a diversion agreement. In addition, Daskoski was required to pay $152 for court costs, $33 for a jail processing fee and $160 in diversion costs.
Daskoski said Monday he didn't know why he committed the theft.
"It's not anything that I've ever done before or anything like it. I couldn't begin to explain," he said.
Daskoski joined the Tonganoxie school district in 1991 as elementary school assistant principal. He was promoted to principal two years later.
"Being a principal and a principal of a large school was not a positive situation for a person with the emotional challenges that I was dealing with," Daskoski said. "It's kind of like asking a person who's soaked in gasoline to be a firefighter."
Daskoski was scheduled to complete his diversion agreement in May of this year. However, he completed his terms early, on Jan. 10 - the day after the state board of education voted to revoke his license.
Ireland said it wasn't until October - 11 months after Daskoski was charged with felony theft - that the state education department learned of the charges against Daskoski.
The state provides the education department with names of individuals who have been convicted of felonies or who have entered into diversion agreements in felony-related crimes. The department learned of the charges against Daskoski while reviewing those reports.
In October, Tonganoxie school Superintendent Richard Erickson was notified that Daskoski was on diversion.
Daskoski said he didn't alert the school board to his diversion status, nor did he know it could result in the revocation of his license.
"Mr. Daskoski served this school district, the elementary school students and staff very effectively for the past 16 years," Erickson said. "I have enjoyed working with him and I appreciate his service to the school district.
"As a parent, I will owe him a debt of gratitude because he served as the elementary school principal for both of my children and the many other children that he has served at Tonganoxie Elementary School."
Ireland said Daskoski had filed a petition to appeal his license revocation. Ireland said it was likely the state board would consider Daskoski's request this month.
Daskoski would have been eligible for retirement in July 2011.