New Kensington-Arnold pays music teacher facing criminal charges for past work

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Sep. 10—A New Kensington-Arnold music teacher charged in two cases of sending inappropriate text messages to students is being paid for past work at the school district.

Sean O'Neil, 34, has been on leave without pay from the district since spring, Assistant Superintendent Jon Banko said. He did not provide a date for when the leave started.

The school board voted Tuesday to pay O'Neil about $1,900 for his work as show and concert choir director in the 2019-20 school year.

New Kensington police charged O'Neil first in April and then again in May. In both cases, police accused O'Neil of sending inappropriate text messages, some sexual, to students in 2020. In the second case, he is accused of making some comments in person.

Banko said O'Neil's payment for work he performed during the 2019-20 school year was missed then, "presumably due to the start of the (covid) pandemic."

O'Neil was paid for the 2020-21 school year, Banko said.

O'Neil, who is free on bond, is scheduled for trial in both cases on Feb. 10. His attorney, Brian Aston, did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.

New Kensington-Arnold School Board named new teachers to serve as directors of the concert and show choirs.

Greg Sturgill will direct the concert choir, while Nick Smith will direct the show choir. Each will be paid $934 for the supplemental positions.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, brittmeyer@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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