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MailTribune.com
  • Misconduct charges dropped against Eagle Point superintendent

  • Charges of misconduct against Eagle Point School District Superintendent Cynda Rickert have been dropped by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission.
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  • Charges of misconduct against Eagle Point School District Superintendent Cynda Rickert have been dropped by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission.
    "I am feeling excited, relieved and vindicated," Rickert said.
    Allegations that Rickert made illegal staffing changes in the district were filed in a complaint by former school board member Jim Mannenbach in 2011. Mannenbach said Rickert replaced licensed counselors at Eagle Point High School with unlicensed staff, a claim Rickert said was both unfounded and untrue.
    Rickert was slated to have a hearing on the allegations this week, but she received notice via her attorney on Tuesday that the agency had dismissed the charges, she said.
    "I knew all along I had not done anything wrong," Rickert said, adding she was prepared to defend her decisions before the commission.
    Oregon Administrative Rules state that districts must assign guidance counseling responsibilities to the appropriate personnel and "provide a comprehensive guidance and counseling program" at every grade level. Knowingly assigning an educator to duties they aren't licensed for is not allowed.
    Rickert said staffing changes made at Eagle Point are in compliance with state regulations and are common practices in other districts.
    "I am still not aware of what law, policy or rule I allegedly violated," Rickert said. "The Eagle Center has two full-time licensed counselors. That has never changed. That is a fact."
    Rickert received a notice of her charge of "gross neglect of duty" in the mail on Dec. 24, 2012, from the TSPC. She chose to appeal the decision and requested a hearing before an administrative law judge, which was slated to take place November 12-14.
    — Sanne Specht
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