Whittell teacher accused in stalking

Michael Ismari

Michael Ismari

A Whittell High School teacher is on administrative leave after he was arrested in a stalking case at Lake Tahoe.

Michael John Ismari, 61, was released from custody on Tuesday and is awaiting further proceedings.

According to the sheriff’s report, a deputy responded to a report that a man was following a woman around at Lake Parkway.

The woman had a 45-day restraining order against Ismari that had expired on May 4.

The deputy was advised that Ismari had left a business card on the woman’s windshield on June 10. He said that when he responded to Elks Point Road he talked to a witness who said she video recorded Ismari following the woman.

The woman said two days after the order expired she started seeing him in locations she frequented.

She said he got a PO Box next to hers, turned up at her gym. When she was driving to the gym on June 11 he pulled in behind her to the gym. She said he drove past her and parked away from her.

“She advised her fear is that he is tracking her and she does not know how,” the deputy said in his report. “She thinks there is something tracker her and telling him where she is.”

While talking to the woman, Ismari walked out of the Dollar store with some groceries and was taken into custody.

“Douglas County School District is deeply concerned to learn about the recent arrest of one of our teachers, Michael Ismari, for allegations of stalking,” said Executive Director of Human Resources Joe Girdner. “The safety and well-being of our students and staff members are of paramount importance to us, and we are taking this matter very seriously. We have initiated an internal investigation and are fully cooperating with local law enforcement.”

The district hired Ismari under a one-year only critical shortage contract, Girdner said.

He retired from the Washoe County School District in December 2022.

“(The district) had no knowledge of any allegations about his alleged misconduct while employed by a different school district,” Girdner said. “On the contrary, the information we received was that Mr. Ismari retired on good terms with the other school district and was eligible to be rehired.”

Ismari was the subject of a lawsuit filed in Washoe County District Court by Joey Gilbert and Sigal Chattah earlier this year against the Washoe County School District, according to the Reno Gazette Journal. Both attorneys have been mentioned as possible replacements for the Douglas school district’s current counsel.

“We understand that incidents like these can be distressing to the community, and we want to reassure parents, students, and staff members that we remain dedicated to providing a safe and supportive learning environment,” Girdner said.

Whittell High School held its graduation on Thursday and is closed for the summer.


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