- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 17, 2018

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon school superintendent has lost her job amid suspicion that she wrote an anonymous letter that criticized a high school teacher.

The South Lane School Board unanimously approved a motion Tuesday that ousted Krista Parent from her position and appointed Kyle Tucker as acting superintendent, The Register-Guard reported .

Board members took the action after a handwriting expert concluded that an unsigned letter given to them last year was likely written by Parent. The letter praised Parent as a “pillar of the community” and criticized a Cottage Grove High School teacher who was married to an educational assistant with whom the superintendent was having an affair.

Parent did not offer comment at the meeting.

Parent served as the district superintendent for the past 16 years. She will officially retire June 30.

The unsigned letter had been placed on the desk of each South Lane School Board member just before an Aug. 14 work session.

Cottage Grove resident Jennifer Holloman paid a former Eugene Police Department handwriting expert $700 to examine it. The analyst, James Green, compared the letter with two known writing samples from Parent.

“There were several identifying features common with the writing in the (anonymous) letter with the known writing samples of Ms. Parent’s,” Green wrote in his report. “There were no significant differences noted.”

The anonymous letter said Parent “put Cottage Grove and this district on the map,” and it called for the “attacks on Krista Parent by Erin Royse” to stop.

Royse is a teacher at Cottage Grove High School.

In addition to describing details about Royse’s personal life, the letter states that the school board was allowing libel and slander about Parent to take place, and that the board was “putting the district at great risk.”

“Krista has suffered great personal and professional loss as a result of many of Erin’s actions,” the letter states.

Royse, at the time the letter was distributed, was married to Melissa Andrews, an educational assistant at Bohemia Elementary School. Andrews and Royse finalized their divorce in November after Andrews and Parent had a romantic affair which was publicly disclosed after a formal complaint about the relationship was filed with the district.

Parent confirmed the affair in May.


Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com

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