California high school’s ‘teacher of the year’ charged with sexually abusing teen boy, may have more victims


A former “teacher of the year” is accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy, and authorities believe there could be more victims. Tracy Vanderhulst, a math teacher at Yucaipa High School, faces a count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor in San Bernardino County, California.

“On Thursday, May 18, 2023, detectives from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Specialized Investigations Division – Crimes Against Children Detail and the Yucaipa Station investigated allegations of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor by a teacher at Yucaipa High School,” deputies wrote.

Detectivies identified Vanderhulst as the suspect and took her to the Central Detention Center in lieu of $30,000 bail.

“Investigators and the Yucaipa Calimesa Joint Unified School District worked cooperatively to ensure a thorough investigation into this matter was completed,” they wrote.

Authorities did not specify if the boy was a student. Nonetheless,  they suggest Vanderhulst could have had other illicit encounters.

From deputies, regarding case number 602300044:

Detectives believe there may be additional victims and are releasing Vanderhulst’s booking photograph. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Rachel Young of the Specialized Investigations Division, Crimes Against Children Detail at (909) 890-4904. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at

She was the Yucaipa teacher of the year in 2017.

“Tracy Vanderhulst is Yucaipa High School’s Teacher of the Year as she epitomizes the educator so many desire to be,” Sherri Black, then assistant su­perintendent of human re­sources for the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District, in a statement provided by Vanderhulst’s principal, according to the News Mirror. “She is the kind and innovative teacher from whom we hope our children will grow; the educator who strives to engage all of her students from her intervention classes to her honors classes.”

Video from 2016 shows her teaching a course named Math 2 honors. She told the production that this class is usually for 9th graders who were identified in middle school as “accelerated” or outstanding in math.

Vanderhulst was arrested late Thursday, according to the sheriff’s department. She was released the following afternoon. No court date is currently scheduled.


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