By Jon King /

A former cheer coach with Howell Public Schools has been sentenced after pleading no contest to charges that she embezzled money from the district.

35-year-old Alisha Beaton of Fowlerville was sentenced Thursday to a year of probation for her conviction on a single count of embezzlement by an agent or trustee of $200 or more but less than $1,000. She had originally been charged with embezzlement between $1,000 and $20,000 by an agent or trustee, but that was reduced in exchange for her no contest plea.

A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt but is treated as such during sentencing. As part of the plea agreement, Beaton must repay $2,158. Prosecutors had argued for jail time, but Judge Michael Hatty opted instead for probation, saying he hoped Beaton wouldn’t again violate a position of trust.

Beaton was the head coach of the middle school cheer program for Howell Public Schools. She was also on the Livingston County Area Cheer & Pom Commissioners Board and Director of Cheer & Pom for Howell Area Junior Football.

HPS Spokesman Tom Gould has said that the district’s athletic department knew that money was being collected by the coach for team costs, but that money was not being deposited, causing them to investigate.