By Marcy Stamper
Jim Cordell, school psychologist for the Methow Valley School District, has resigned effective Tuesday (Nov. 3). His resignation comes just weeks after several reassignments of special education staff at the elementary and high schools, including changes to Cordell’s job.
Cordell was hired as the special education coordinator and psychologist last year, and he started this school year in both jobs. In mid-October, administrators with the Education Service District (ESD) 112 in Vancouver, who handle special ed for the Methow, appointed a new assistant director of special ed for the entire school district, keeping Cordell as the psychologist. The psychologist evaluates students and helps determine eligibility for special education.
Cordell had been offered the option of an additional assignment in another school district to maintain his full-time status, but he had elected to remain part-time in the Methow Valley, said Mary Mertz, associate superintendent for the ESD, last month.
The ESD provided the following statement regarding Cordell’s resignation: “On behalf of everyone at ESD 112 and MVSD [Methow Valley School District], we would like to thank Dr. Cordell for his efforts and wish him well in his future challenges and endeavors. In the interim, Psychology services will be contracted through North Central Educational Service District.”
The ESD had placed Cordell on a six-week paid administrative leave last year. He returned to work after an investigator found no evidence to support allegations that Cordell’s means of restraining disruptive students had not followed ESD policy. The investigator also found insufficient evidence to show he had intentionally misled subordinates or parents.