Superintendent Charged With Misconduct

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EAGLE POINT, Ore. – Some people are supporting the Eagle Point School District Superintendent and others are not, but either way, the district leader is facing misconduct charges. Superintendent Cynda Rickert says she is being charged with professional misconduct based on a nearly 2-year-old complaint; that complaint was brought forward by two Eagle Point School Board members.

The Oregon Teachers Standards and Practices Commission confirmed it is charging Cynda Rickert based on a complaint from January 2011, but it said it could not give any details; in a statement, Rickert said it’s for professional misconduct. Rickert was unavailable to speak on Tuesday, but said in a statement the charges were about the district’s bus service and counselors at Eagle Point High School. She says the charges claim the district avoided buying new school buses in order to subcontract out the service.

Rickert replied it was an administrative move to conserve funds. Rickert also defended the use of unlicensed counselors as academic advisers for the high school. School board members said the complaint was brought by board members Mark Bateman and Jim Mannenbach. Bateman declined to comment and Mannenbach did not return phone calls. Other board members defended Rickert’s actions.

Board Chair Scott Grissom said the charges were not unethical behavior and said he does not think the TSPC should rule on them. Rickert will be able to have a hearing to discuss the charges. The TSPC can decide whether to dismiss them, or take actions ranging from a public reprimand, to revoking her license.