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Ex-Boston educator sentenced for using school funds on vacations

Crime Former head of Boston school sentenced for using school funds on Barbados vacations An attorney for Naia Wilson previously described her misuse of school funds as “a terrible lapse in judgment.” Naia Wilson, the former head of New Mission High School in Hyde Park, pleaded guilty to misusing nearly $40,000 in school funds to pay for vacations for her and her friends. She is pictured outside the school in 2016. David Ryan/Boston Globe Staff, File
The former head of New Mission High School in Hyde Park will pay a $25,000 fine and serve 160 hours of community service after pleading guilty to misusing school funds for personal expenses, including two vacations to Barbados for herself and several friends.
Naia Wilson, 60, of Mattapan, was also sentenced Tuesday to two years of supervised release, with the first 90 days to be served as in-home incarceration, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts. Additionally, Wilson was ordered to pay back $38,806 to Boston Public Schools.
Wilson served as head of school at New Mission — an autonomous pilot school within BPS — from 2006 until about June 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a Tuesday press release.
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Prosecutors said that between September 2016 and at least May 2019, Wilson requested checks from the school’s account to be issued to several people, purportedly as stipends for work they’d done at New Mission. Then, Wilson would endorse the checks to herself and deposit them into her own bank account.
Wilson also requested checks that were used to pay for two all-inclusive vacations to Barbados for herself and several friends in 2016 and 2018, prosecutors said.
She previously pleaded guilty in September to one count of wire fraud.
In a statement obtained by The Boston Globe in August, Wilson’s attorney, Peter Charles Horstmann, characterized the misuse of school funds as a lapse in judgment and said his client recognizes that what she did was wrong.
“Is it a crime? Yes. Is it a terrible lapse in judgment? Yes,” he said in August, according to the Globe. “She will pay her victims back and get on with her life. We hope the sentencing judge will balance all her good work at New Mission against a modest lapse in judgment.”

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