A 29-year-old math teacher at Poolesville High School has been charged by Montgomery County police with having sexual relations with a student at the school who is in her early teens.

John Allison Soule of 18812 Creeper La., Gaithersbug, has been charged with four counts of a fourthdegree sex offense, police said.

A fourth-degree sex offense involves sexual relations with a 14- or 15-yearl-old by a person who is four or more years older, according to police spokeswoman Nancy Moses. It is a misdemeanor offense carrying a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine, Moses said.

Soule was arrested Dec. 12 at the personnel office of the Montgomery County Schools. He has been released from custody on $2,000 bond, Moses said.

Soule currently is on adminstrative leave with pay, according to Dr. Steve Rohr, director of personnel for the schools. Soule's trial has been set for Feb. 22. The alleged incident took place at the teacher's home, according to police.

Soule has been a teacher in Montgomery County since 1971. He was described by a former colleague as a "personable" teacher who was active in school affairs and had good rapport with the students.