As a school teacher, Kerrie Clarke may have done right by her students. But as a union officer, she did not do right by her fellow members. On April 27, Clarke, former treasurer of the Grafton Teachers Association (GTA), was charged in Westboro District Court with embezzling nearly $20,000 from the association, an affiliate of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, in turn an affiliate of the National Education Association. She already had resigned her position as a teacher at Millbury Street Elementary School in Grafton (Worcester County), Mass. last November. Clarke was released after entering a plea of not guilty.
According to court documents, Clarke, now 45, a resident of North Grafton, Mass., during January 2016-October 2017 used a GTA credit union account to make unauthorized withdrawals, purchases and credit card payments. She also allegedly deposited numerous union checks into a personal bank account. Clarke’s schemes began to unravel after the Massachusetts Teachers Association conducted an audit of the local’s finances and discovered a shortfall. The association contacted the Grafton police department to request an investigation, which yielded the conclusion that Ms. Clarke had taken $19,819.97. Charges soon followed. No action has occurred since.