Higher education

Top 10 Gazette storylines of the year: #3 Mary Beth Haglin case

The substitute teacher was found guilty of sexual exploitation

Mary Beth Haglin looks on during a hearing at Linn County District Court in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Mary Beth Haglin looks on during a hearing at Linn County District Court in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

In our Top 10 Storylines of the year poll, the readers have voted that the case of Mary Beth Haglin was the #3 storyline of the year.

A storyline that captured headlines for much of the last few months, and had many ramifications throughout the Cedar Rapids community.

Haglin, who was found guilty of sexual exploitation of a student on December 16, is a 24-year-old substitute teacher began working for the Cedar Rapids Community School District in the fall of 2015.

Haglin had a sexual relationship with a student between Jan. 1 and May 17 while she worked as a substitute teacher at Washington High School.

Her story garnered national attention, with appearances on the “Dr. Phil” show on Oct. 17, as well as sitting for filmed interviews with “Inside Edition” and “Crime Watch Daily”.

Haglin’s story did not stop with her.

Ralph Plagman, who was Washington High’s Principal for 35 years, said he was asked to resign amid the rumors of Haglin’s misconduct.

Plagman’s resignation sent ripples throughout the greater Washington High School community, with many coming to his defense and expressing remorse that his career at Washington High ended this way.


July 22 - Washington High substitute accused of sexual relationship with student

August 2 - Washington High Principal Ralph Plagman pushed out after 35 years

August 3 - Washington High’s Ralph Plagman: ‘It’s time to move on’

August 8 - Superintendent: Ralph Plagman’s ouster came after ‘careful deliberation’

October 18 - Former substitute teacher asks court to move her trial out of Linn County based on pretrial publicity

October 26 - Sexual exploitation charge against former substitute teacher upgraded to felony

November 16 - Sexual exploitation trial for former substitute teacher to be moved to Tama County

November 21 - Judge affirms felony sex exploitation charge against Haglin


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December 16 - Former Washington High substitute teacher Mary Beth Haglin found guilty of sexual exploitation


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