A former teacher of the year for the Gardner-Edgerton School District has been sentenced to more than 5 years in prison for sex crimes with a teenager.
Todd Burd, 45, pleaded guilty to two counts of felony unlawful sexual relations in exchange for two aggravated sodomy charges being dropped.
He received a 34-month sentence for each of the two charges, which will run consecutively. Therefore, he will spend about 5 years and 8 months in prison.
Court documents said the nonconsensual sexual acts happened last fall with a 15- or 16-year-old. The sexual assault took place between Oct. 23 and Nov. 8.
KCTV5 News was able to confirm the incident happened off of school grounds and not long before he left his position at the school.
Burd was a choir director and vocal teacher at Gardner Edgerton High School. He received Gardner-Edgerton district's Teacher of the Year honor in 2015.
According to USD 231, Burd left the school on Nov. 21 after 13 years as the vocal music teacher. According to documents from the school board, he either resigned or retired and that was approved in April, but he was not fired.
Former students of his had said they were shocked by the accusation due to the impact Burd had on their lives.
"I am the person I am today because of him. He shaped me into who I am because choir was the only thing that held me onto that high school," former student Alaina Summerlin said. “He’s been a kind-hearted, you know, person who has always pushed people to do their best and I never expected anything like this from him.”
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