How the Cortez school board ousted its superintendent

The Cortez Journal: Montezuma-Cortez Board of Education President Sheri Noyes acted alone in asking former Superintendent Risha VanderWey to resign, and the board’s related electronic communications likely violated Colorado’s Sunshine Law, according to the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition.

School board emails and messages obtained through a Colorado Open Records Act paint a picture of a secretive ouster in which Noyes asked board members to be silent about the “logistics” of VanderWey’s resignation, and in a private group chat she asked board members to vote on the terms of VanderWey’s separation agreement. She asked board members to reply individually.

The Journal learned about the school board’s decision-making process after examining more than 100 emails and messages it obtained through a Colorado Open Records Act request. The Journal requested all electronic communications exchanged between board members in January that discussed VanderWey.

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