WEST ORANGE - Former high school teacher Erica DePalo was sentenced Monday to life on probation for having sex with a 15-year-old student at West Orange High School.
DePalo had faced up to 10 years in prison, but took a deal which included a three-year suspended sentence and lifetime probation. The Montclair native was arrested in August and charged with aggravated sexual assault.
DePalo, who was Essex County's Teacher of the Year in 2011, was apologetic when she addressed the court.
"I feel nothing but remorse for my actions and a deep, deep sadness for everything I have lost because of them," DePalo said.
Judge Peter Ryan was satisfied with the sentence, saying the community had reached out in support of DePalo.
DePalo also has to register as a sex offender.