Ex-San Antonio elementary teacher convicted of child sex crimes has educator certificate removed

Russell Lynn Berry, 36, was first-grade teacher at Center Point ISD

KERR COUNTY, TexasUpdate (Jan. 7, 2020): A former teacher sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexual abuse of a child and possession of child pornography had his Texas educator certificate revoked Monday.

Russell Lynn Berry was most recently a first-grade teacher with the Center Point Independent School District during the 2017-18 school year. The district placed Berry on leave when complaints about him arose.

In November 2018, he admitted he made inappropriate sexual contact with a student, according to the Kerr County Sheriff’s Office. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison in October after pleading guilty.

The Texas Education Agency revoked Berry’s certification on Monday, according to an online certificate lookup.

He was certified in five areas: special education for early childhood to 12th grade, core subjects for fourth to eighth grade, generalist for early childhood to fourth grade, English as a second language supplemental, and gifted and talented supplemental.

He worked as a teacher at Meadow Village Elementary School in the Northside Independent School District from August 2006 to June 2017, a district spokesperson previously told KSAT.

First-grade teacher admits to inappropriately touching student at Kerr County school

Original (Sept. 27, 2019): A former first-grade teacher pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a child and possessing child pornography.

Russell Lynn Berry, 36, pleaded guilty Sept. 12 to 10 counts of possession of child pornography in two separate indictments and sex abuse of a child continuous victim under 14, an official with the Kerr County District Clerk’s Office confirmed with KSAT.com.

The official said Berry’s admission was part of a plea bargain. District Judge Keith Williams will sentence Berry Oct. 24.

Officials said Berry was a first-grade teacher with the Center Point Independent School District during 2017-18 and was set to return the following school year.

Upon learning of several complaints against Berry, CPISD placed him on administrative leave as the Kerr County Sheriff's Office conducted an investigation.

On Nov. 2, 2018, Kerr County Sheriff Rusty Hierholzer said Berry admitted to investigators that he did "touch a student at CPISD in a sexual manner and that he had done so at a previous place of employment."

Hierholzer said before being employed by CPISD, Berry worked for Northside Independent School District in San Antonio.

Texas ‘Teacher of the Year’ engaged in sex acts with student in classroom, affidavit says

A spokesperson with NISD confirmed to KSAT.com that Berry worked as a teacher at Meadow Village Elementary School from August 2006 to June 2017.

While the spokesperson said NISD police were in communication with the Kerr County Sheriff's Office, it is unclear if any charges were filed against Berry from his time with the school district.

On the day of his arrest, Hierholzer said a search into Berry's cellphone by a forensic investigator revealed a "number of child porn images."

“The case was presented to the 216th Grand Jury and a 33-count indictment and a 21-count indictment was handed down,” Hierholzer said at the time.

About the Authors:

Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.