Andrea Maano Cruz still is employed at the Guam Department of Education but under administrative leave as the investigation into her alleged diploma scandal continues, according to GDOE spokeswoman Isa Baza.
Cruz still is being paid while on leave. She is a teacher at George Washington High School, where she is listed as making about $58,000 a year with benefits.
She pleaded not guilty to theft charges, impersonation, criminal mischief, official misconduct and possession of a Schedule II controlled substance at the Superior Court of Guam on Wednesday.
Cruz was allegedly running a credit-recovery academy and home school under the Believe, Achieve, Motivate, or B.A.M., moniker.
She allegedly started B.A.M. in late 2017 and had provided approximately 300 students with B.A.M. diplomas and transcripts. But the institution caught the attention of authorities after students attempted to enroll at Guam Community College using B.A.M. diplomas and transcripts.
The diplomas also allegedly used the logo for the Guam Department of Education. GCC and GDOE have denied any affiliation with B.A.M.
Investigators executed search warrants in Cruz's classroom at George Washington High School on Oct. 17. Investigators confronted her as she was about to enter a vehicle at the school.
She had a pink pouch around her waist, which allegedly contained a glass pipe with black-and-white frosty residue, according to court documents.