Former Vernon School principal, Jessica Bader, charged with falsifying employment records


Jessica Bader, the former principal of James H. Vernon School in the Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District, was charged on Monday with falsifying her employment application. Bader, 52, of Nesconset, formerly known as Jessica Zimbler, is accused of omitting her prior suspension of a teaching certificate for engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a student in 2005 while teaching at the East Meadow School District. She had been an English teacher at East Meadow High School from 1999 to 2005.

The East Meadow School District did not wish to comment.

The EMSD learned of the affair after the student’s mother shared emails with the district and the New York State Department of Education found further evidence from cell phone conversations between the student and Bader.

Because the student was 18 and the relationship was consensual, Bader did not face criminal charges. She was assigned to administrative work and resigned five days later from her position at EMSD.

After an investigation by the state’s education department, Bader lost her teaching certificate in 2007 for four years.

“Her defense appeared to primarily be that the relationship with the student was not inappropriate because it was consensual, that the student was not a minor and that the young man was not a student in her classroom,” wrote Patricia Rodriguez, the NYSED hearing officer on the case. “It was a gross error in judgment to believe that it is appropriate for any teacher to kiss or fondle a student in a classroom setting, whether or not the student was in a classroom taught by that teacher or even if that student has technically reached the age of majority.”

After reinstatement, Bader held positions in Brooklyn and Queens schools, including as an assistant principal at a Queens middle school.

She resigned from her position at Vernon in September 2023.

Bader is facing charges related to falsifying the employment applications she submitted to the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District and the online application system for educators. If convicted, she could face from one to four years in prison.

"Bader allegedly concealed her certificate suspension on applications for two high-level positions within the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District,” District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly said. “Such actions compromise the trust parents place in educators and administrators."

Bader applied for a position as the director of humanities at the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District in March, 2022 and was hired two months later. She was hired as the principal at Vernon School in July, 2023.

It is alleged that Bader falsely answered questions on the online application system for educators known as OLAS. When asked if she was ever required to resign from a position, resigned from a position as an alternative to facing charges or termination or whether she had ever had a professional certificate suspended by a government agency Bader answered “no.” 

She also filed a separate application electronically directly to the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District for the director of humanities position in which she allegedly falsely answered the question if she had ever been asked to resign, rather than be discharged or denied tenure.

And Bader allegedly omitted her previous employment at East Meadow High School, where she was the subject of disciplinary action, from her applications.

OBEN Superintendent Francesco Ianni said the district was not involved in the lawsuit. And he does not recall anyone ever being charged before for falsifying their job application in the field of education.

“This is one of those things that keeps cycling,” he said. “And that’s unfortunate because our school district is doing so many wonderful things.

Bader, who is being represented by Joseph Carbone, Esq., surrendered to NCDA Detective Investigators on April 1. She was released and is due back in court on April 11.

The case is being prosecuted by Jennifer Boyle, senior investigative counsel of the Public Corruption Bureau.