A Beverly middle school teacher convicted of stabbing a man 22 years ago is hoping to return to her job teaching fifth-grade math after state officials decided to let her keep her teaching license, her lawyer said today.
Elizabeth Spoon, 40, pleaded guilty in May to assault and battery in the stabbing of a man who was fighting her then-boyfriend when she was 18. She was sentenced to three years of probation.
Though she was arrested only last year, her lawyer, Randy S. Chapman of Chelsea, said she had not been dodging police.
Chapman said that after the June 12, 1988 stabbing, a warrant had been issued for "Elizabeth Pullino," an apparent error in the police report that stemmed from her then-boyfriend's name, Alan Pullino.
"The warrant laid dormant in some file," Chapman said. "She didn't hide or use a false name or anything." Spoon was unavailable for comment, he said.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reinstated Spoon's license because of her "sound moral character," the Salem News reported.
Chapman said his client, who at one time was homeless, pregnant, and in an abusive relationship with Pullino, has changed her life's direction and is now married with two children.
"She is a truly shining example of how someone can transcend a troubled youth," he said. "Her biggest priority has always been getting back to teaching. That's her love."
"She just wants to go back to her quiet life as a fifth-grade math teacher," he said.