Jailed Collier County teacher’s personnel file shows some prior indiscretions

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Travis Westberry (Credit: CCSO booking photo)

A former Collier County high school teacher and coach accused of inappropriate contact with students remained in jail Thursday as his personnel file revealed some red flags.

Travis Westberry, 30, taught math and coached basketball at Immokalee High School. His arrest caught two former colleagues off guard, but his school district personnel file shows he has been in hot water before.

One former colleague worked with Westberry at First Baptist Academy in Collier County, where Westberry was a coach and youth leader from 2013 to 2016. He called the actions Westberry’s accused of “out of character,” describing him as “positive, upbeat and fun.”

Another supervised Westberry at Santa Fe College and said he did a good job.

But Westberry’s personnel file at the Collier County school district says he shoved a student last year, told kids to “shut up,” and drove a student off campus in 2016.

Golden Gate Middle School officials told him to cease contact with one student he paid special attention to, touching the student’s back and commenting on another student’s lips. He also received letters for poor performance and missing numerous meetings.

Westberry left the district in 2018 before he was rehired at Immokalee High in 2019.

Faustina Rivera’s grandson goes to the school and she said the district should do more to protect kids.

“They need to be more thorough on the background checks on these teachers, you know? There’s got to be a leak somewhere,” she said.

Mom Ariana Rivera agreed.

“More background checks and, you know, being thorough on who they hire.”

WINK News asked Collier County Public Schools how Westberry got rehired based on his personnel file, but they said they don’t comment on personnel matters.

On Westberry’s teaching application, he wrote, “An outstanding teacher should have character that is above reproach,” and “Love is the most important.”

He faces charges of battery, distributing obscene material to a child, and transmission of material harmful to minors. His bail is set at $225,000 and should he bond out, he cannot have any unsupervised contact with minors.

Congressman Byron Donalds statement

Both Florida U.S. Congressman Byron Donalds (Fla-R) and his wife, Erika Donalds, were listed as references on Westberry’s past Collier County Public Schools application. The District 19 representative shared a statement with WINK News in response to Westberry’s arrest.

“Erika and I are heartbroken and devastated for everyone impacted by allegations of sexual misconduct surrounding Travis Westberry,” Donalds said in his statement. “We pray for healing and justice for the victims of his alleged misconduct. Thank you to our law enforcement community for taking swift action. These allegations are deeply disturbing and a tremendous shock to Erika and I.”

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