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updated: 11/21/2011 7:34 PM

Police say 41 Antioch football players' grades changed

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  • Sara Glashagel, 27, of Elk Grove Village, was responsible for gaining access to the computer system and changing the grades of students at Antioch High School.

      Sara Glashagel, 27, of Elk Grove Village, was responsible for gaining access to the computer system and changing the grades of students at Antioch High School.

  • Antioch High School head varsity football coach Brian Glashagel.

       Antioch High School head varsity football coach Brian Glashagel.
    PAUL VALADE | Staff Photographer, 2009

  • The Antioch football team takes the field in Vernon Hills on Friday, Sept. 16.

       The Antioch football team takes the field in Vernon Hills on Friday, Sept. 16.
    George Leclaire | Staff Photographer

 
 

Forty-one of the Antioch High School students whose grades were tampered with during a seven-day period in September by teacher Sara Glashagel were football players, Antioch police officials confirmed Monday.

However, Antioch-Lake Villa Area High School District 117 officials said the system for determining eligibility at the school was never compromised and no students who were academically ineligible were permitted to compete in sports.

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"And, should a player suddenly become eligible during the week, the teacher would have to send a note to the coach or athletic director to make the player eligible," co-Superintendent Mike Nekritz said. "And that didn't happen in this situation."

Calls to officials at the Illinois High School Athletic Association were not returned Monday.

Glashagel, an English teacher, was charged Nov. 18 with a single count of computer tampering for changing 240 grades involving 64 students between Sept. 15 and 21.

The 27-year-old Elk Grove Village woman remains free on a $1,000 bond and is due back in court Dec. 9. If found guilty of the class A misdemeanor, she could spend up to one year behind bars.

She is the wife of Brian Glashagel, Antioch's head football coach, who has denied any knowledge of grade changing.

"Our role in this was to detect and identify any criminal behavior that took place at the high school," Antioch Police Chief Craig Somerville said. "I will not speculate on anything beyond the information we have. We have evidence that the suspect we arrested used her password to gain access to the school computers and then changed the grades of students. She has admitted to that."

Somerville said Sara Glashagel first accessed the district's computers and inflated student grades on Thursday, Sept. 15.

Nekritz said eligibility lists pulled at noon on Thursday and given to teachers and coaches Friday is for games played the following week.

Any grade tampering she did on Sept. 15 would have affected students involved in games played the week of Sept. 23, he said.

Somerville said Sara Glashagel accessed and changed numerous grades on the school's computer on four other occasions leading up to Wednesday, Sept. 21.

Nekritz said those changes were caught and fixed, and did not affect any eligibility lists.

"We contacted the IHSA and explained what happened to them," he said. "They checked into it, said no further investigation was needed and that we should keep them updated."

Somerville said a teacher alerted school officials about the grade changes on Tuesday, Sept 20. They contacted police on Sept. 28 and requested help to determine the tampering source.

Somerville said Sara Glashagel and her husband Brian Glashagel were questioned about the computer tampering on Wednesday, Nov. 16.

Sara Glashagel was charged two days later. She scheduled a time to turn herself into police to be arrested, charged and processed.

Somerville said school officials have been cooperative with the investigation.

He would not say whether Sara Glashagel changed the students' grades from computers at school, or accessed the database remotely. He also could not say if the football players were members of the varsity squad only, or if junior varsity and freshman players were also involved.

Somerville pointed out that grade changes were made on ineligible and eligible students. On at least one occasion, a grade was changed, then changed back to the original grade days later.

Brian Glashagel said Saturday he was "blindsided" when told his wife had tampered with the grades of several students, including football players, and that it was done without his knowledge.

Sara Glashagel has been placed on administrative leave, though she remains a district employee, officials said Friday.

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