TAMPA — A Carrollwood Elementary School teacher was arrested early Friday after police say they found her with cocaine and the prescription amphetamine Adderall near Hyde Park.
Jennifer Shepherd, 32, was arrested by Tampa police on the 600 block of Westland Avenue S around 3:15 a.m., when an officer spotted her trying to "conceal drugs behind her back," according to an arrest report.
Police found Shepherd with an unspecified amount of cocaine, half an Adderall pill, a snorting tube and a stick used for cutting or sifting. The paraphernalia tested positive for cocaine, the report shows.
Although listed as a teacher at King High School in online jail records, Hillsborough County schools spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said Shepherd has been working at Carrollwood Elementary as a learning-disabilities teacher since January. Shepherd oversees third-, fourth- and fifth-grade classes.
She has no previous disciplinary history with the Hillsborough school district, Cobbe said. Shepherd holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of South Florida and a master's degree from Nova Southeastern University, Cobbe said.
Prior to her hiring at Carrollwood Elementary in January, Shepherd worked for a semester as a special-education resource teacher at a Pasco County school, Cobbe said. Before that, she was an educator at Land O'Lakes High School from 1997 to 2003, later moving to King High School in Tampa, where she was a special-education teacher.
She has been placed on paid leave, Cobbe said.
Jail records show Shepherd was charged with possession of cocaine, possession of a controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. She was released from the Orient Road Jail after posting $4,500 bail.
Clutching a plastic bag full of her belongings outside the jail, Shepherd refused to comment.