Some question 4J's interim superintendent choice amid allegations

Numerous former and current Holt Elementary staff told KEZI 9 News Brian Vandercar would be sexually vulgar in front of students and used his wife's position in the 4J administration to intimidate women.

Posted: May 7, 2020 7:45 PM

EUGENE, Ore.-- Some parents and staff members are questioning if the 4J school board properly took into account allegations against the husband of newly-approved interim superintendent Cydney Vandercar throughout their decision-making process.

Numerous former and current Holt Elementary staff told KEZI 9 News Brian Vandercar would be sexually vulgar in front of students and used his wife's position in the 4J administration to intimidate women.

RELATED: ALLEGATIONS AGAINST 4J ADMINISTRATOR'S HUSBAND REEMERGE

A 4J investigation into the matter was completed after he resigned his position as a classified staff member, though the results of the investigation have never been released. According to the district, Cydney Vandercar was not associated with the investigation and no allegations of wrongdoing on her part were ever uncovered.

Cydney Vandercar held the title of human resources director until she became the assistant superintendent in January 2018, before the investigation into her husband's conduct began.

MORE: 4J SCHOOL BOARD UNANIMOUSLY APPROVES INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT

Still, given knowledge of the accusations against Brian, 4J parent Isiah Wagoner feels Cydney's approval required closer inspection.

"If your husband is involved in some sort of accusations where they are saying, 'Look, I have someone in power,' those are big accusations. A lot of people are going to say, 'Hey, how did she not know? How was she not involved with so many accusations?'" he said.

According to the district, the timeline for the internal search for interim superintendent was finalized on April 7. The board also decided to make the search confidential. They allowed their three employee unions two opportunities each to provide feedback on candidates. According to board chair Anne Marie Levis, only one of those groups gave two rounds of feedback.

There were just 24 hours available for public comment via email between the board's announcement of Vandercar as a finalist and her approval.

"We were very clear about the timeline. We are not rushing this. We need time for crossover. We need time for Cyd to be trained," Levis said.

Parent Monica Adkins said she was disappointed by the board's decision. She said she experienced Brian Vandercar's behavior firsthand when he was her intellectually-disabled daughter's educational assistant at Holt Elementary. 

She reported that Vandercar was never directly vulgar to her but made off-color comments and behaved strangely. She said there was one incident on the playground in which multiple staff members told her Vandercar grabbed her daughter and pulled her back as she tried to run toward the school. She was told by employees that Vandercar said he was going to fill out a report, but when she came into the school the next day, she was told the report didn't exist.

Many parents and staff told KEZI it's examples like this that make them skeptical of Cydney Vandercar's leadership. 

We reached out to Vandercar for comment through 4J's spokesperson but did not get a response.

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