By Marcy Stamper
Jim Cordell, the special education director and psychologist for the Methow Valley School District, was placed on paid administrative leave for six weeks to allow investigation of “an internal matter,” according to Methow Valley School District Superintendent Tom Venable.
The issue was resolved to the satisfaction of the Educational Service District (ESD) in Vancouver, Washington, with which the district contracts for its special education staff, and Cordell returned to work in mid-January, said Venable.
As Cordell’s employer, the ESD made the decision to place Cordell on leave to allow an opportunity for investigation. He returned to work once it was determined the allegations were unsubstantiated, said Venable, who could provide no details about the matter. Venable said the entire matter was handled by the ESD.
As special education director and psychologist, Cordell administers evaluations for special education referrals and is part of the team that develops and reviews individualized education programs for students, said Venable. He works full-time in the Methow Valley with all three schools. As part of the collaboration with the ESD, Methow Valley district personnel are part of the hiring team.
Cordell is in his first year with the district. He was a school psychologist and special education director for more than 30 years in the Banning Unified School District in California.