Ryan Ellis - Photo from East Aurora School District Website
BUFFALO, NY - Buffalo Police say a southtowns teacher is facing a drug charge following a routine traffic stop Monday night.
Spokesperson Mike DeGeorge says Ryan Ellis, 36, was pulled over on the city's east side around 8 P.M. allegedly in possession of a quantity of crack cocaine. DeGeorge says Ellis is a teacher in the East Aurora School district.
The Tonawanda resident is charged with possession of a controlled substance.
The school district's website lists Ellis as a teacher at the high school.
Wednesday afternoon, Superintendent Brian Russ posted a statement reacting to the arrest on the district's website. Russ read his statement during Wednesday night's school board meeting.
Before the meeting, students of Ellis say that he was "a nice guy," a "friend," and a "knowledgeable teacher." Now many of the young minds Ellis tried to teach right are deciding how they feel about his arrest two days ago.
Nikki Schneider, a senior said, "I'm supporting him, but I'm also disappointed I guess, I think everybody makes mistakes and hopefully he can learn from it."
Mary LuEllen, another student of Ellis' has a different opinion: "everyone was really surprised because they didn't think he was that kind of person to do that. I don't think that he should be able to come back."
Ellis had been a physics teacher at East Aurora High. He also helped students with drawing techniques and technology lessons. The school district says Ellis has been employed here for nine years.
A law enforcement source says that Ellis' arrest "blindsided" school district officials and that Ellis did not report his arrest to his supervisors. The source says that the school district is investigating Ellis' background, including an incident in 2001 when he brought drugs to a house party.
2 On Your Side reached out to Ellis, but we didn't get a response.
Officials say that the state Department of Education is aware of Ellis' arrest.
He was arraigned on Tuesday morning and his case is in Buffalo City Court. He's expected back in court on January 10th.