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Woman used 'falsified copy' of teaching certificate to get job at Kelowna private school

A woman who worked as a teacher at a Kelowna private school after falsely claiming to be certified has been found guilty of professional misconduct.

According to the BC Commissioner for Teacher Regulation, Nicola Julie Pendleton told Lakeside School during an interview that she had a Professional Certificate of Qualification when in fact she did not.

She even provided a “falsified copy” of said certificate to Lakeside, the Commissioner found.

Pendleton was ultimately given the job in August 2018 after misrepresenting her certification status.

<who> Photo credit: 123RF

The Commissioner said Pendleton, who did not attend her hearing on April 7 of this year after claiming to suffer from various illnesses, held a Conditional Certificate of Qualification between Sept. 4, 2012 and June 30, 2017.

It was then extended up to June 30, 2018.

Pendleton had been told by the province’s professional teaching body that she needed to complete several courses before her conditional certificate could be upgraded to a full certificate.

The Commissioner found, however, that she did not complete the courses, and did not have her conditional certificate extended, meaning she was not authorized to teach at Lakeside.

The hearing included evidence that Lakeside was advised by the teaching regulator on Aug. 12, 2019 that Pendleton’s licence had expired.

Pendleton, however, maintained that she had been granted a Professional Certificate of Qualification in January 2018, prompting an investigation by the regulator.

In its decision, the Commissioner explained: “The panel finds that the evidence establishes that [Pendleton] did not hold a professional certificate of qualification issued by the [teaching regulator] in or about January 2018, or at all.

“The panel finds that the evidence establishes that [Pendleton] did not complete the post-secondary courses required to upgrade from the Conditional Certificate to a professional certificate prior to June 30, 2018.”

Summing up Pendleton’s actions, the panel said: “It is dishonest conduct, which undermines the integrity of the profession and resulted in [Pendleton] obtaining a teaching position for which she was not authorized. The panel finds [Pendleton’s] conduct constitutes professional misconduct.”

A penalty is yet to be determined.

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