Montezuma-Cortez Superintendent VanderWey furloughed – The Durango Herald

Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 Superintendent Risha VanderWey was placed on paid administrative leave Friday.

The announcement comes almost a week after the executive session

Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1 Superintendent Risha VanderWey was placed on paid administrative leave Friday under circumstances that were unclear around the decision and mostly school board silence.

News of the council’s decision began circulating Thursday at Cortez schools and the city council, although no formal announcement was made until Monday, when council chairwoman Sheri Noyes released a brief letter. of three sentences announcing the departure of VanderWey.

Noyes declined to provide further details.

In VanderWey’s place, a “quorum of highly qualified administrative staff” will perform their duties until further notice, the letter said.

Noye said The newspaper On Monday morning, she wrote the letter to respond to “misinformation” circulating about VanderWey’s departure.

“It’s a little frustrating of me,” she said.

She declined to comment further on VanderWey’s situation and whether VanderWey’s leave was imposed or voluntary.

“I want to do it the legal way,” Noyes said.

She said she didn’t want to place anyone in the school district under duress in the middle of the situation.

The letter, she said, provides the details available for publication at this time.

“They (the community) can come to their own conclusion,” she said.

Former Deputy Superintendent Lis Richard resigned from her position on January 4 on disability leave. Her resignation, she said, had nothing to do with the current situation in the district, she said The newspaper Monday.

Noyes’ letter did not say who would be part of the new governing “quorum”.

Chief Financial Officer Kyle Archibeque also responded to an email from The newspaper Monday morning concerning the letter from Noyes.

“That’s all we have at the moment,” he said in the email.. “As the day/week develops, we will notify you of updates.”

At the January school board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 18, the board began an executive session lasting just over an hour to discuss VanderWey’s position. VanderWey was not part of the meeting.

The agenda for the meeting stated that the reason for the closed session was “a personnel matter regarding the Superintendent’s evaluation”.

VanderWey did not respond to That of the magazine phone and text inquiries for comment, starting Thursday afternoon.

The newspaper emailed Noyes Friday night and left him a voicemail Saturday afternoon. Other board members did not respond to emails sent Saturday afternoon.

The administrators are:

  • Sheri Noyes, District F.
  • Sherri Wright, District C.
  • Stacey Hall, District D.
  • Cody Wells, District A.
  • Ed Rice, District E.
  • Jeannette Hart, District B.
  • Layne Frazier, District G.

Cortez Mayor Mike Lavey called The newspaper Thursday, expressing concern about the situation surrounding decisions about VanderWey’s job.

“She (VanderWey) was planning on making it her home,” he said.

VanderWey began her term as superintendent on July 1, after serving as superintendent of the Navajo Tuba City Majority Unified School District in northern Arizona, as well as the Coconino County Educational Services Agency in Flagstaff.

She was one of three runners-up for the position, ultimately triumphing over runner-up Joseph Aldridge of Sonora, California, who had served as superintendent of the Columbia Union School District in Tuolumne County.

Amid the busy and often tumultuous school board meetings, VanderWey has occasionally strayed from the majority opinion of the board, including on topics such as school closures and masking.

This article will be updated when more information becomes available.

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