A Lower Merion High School teacher, suspended for allegedly dating an 18-year-old student from his class, was well-liked and always willing to help give extra help to students, "especially the girls," according to one website.

The "dating relationship" between award-winning physics teacher Robert Schanne, 43, and an unnamed female student occurred five years ago, Superintendent Christopher McGinley said in a letter to parents. The district received information about the alleged affair in December.

"The evidence does not suggest any criminal conduct by Mr. Schanne," McGinley's letter said. "However, it is absolutely unacceptable and inappropriate for any teacher to have this type of a relationship with a student."

Doug Young, the school district's director of communications, said that Schanne's suspension will last at least until the end of the school year while district officials investigate the claim.

Schanne could not be reached for comment yesterday. Chris Santa Maria, president of the Lower Merion Education Association, declined comment.

In 2009 the College Board awarded Schanne a Siemens Award for Advanced Placement. The prestigious award goes to one teacher from each state who has shown excellence in teaching science or math courses.

A Lower Merion School District news release in 2009 quoted Schanne as saying that one of his department's goals is to make students better learners.

Most posters on the website ratemyteachers.com gave him high marks for his teaching abilities. One, in 2003, called Schanne "a really great guy, always willing to help out, especially the girls."