District sends statement after removal of Rist from Kalapuya

Salem-Keizer Public Schools Superintendent Andrea Castañeda sent an email to the families of Kalapuya Elementary on Thursday regarding the removal of teacher Joshua Rist from the campus.

After a lawsuit from two former McNary students against the district and Rist for sexual abuse was made public, it was known that Rist was placed at Kalapuya following his suspension handed down by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission.

“Since the public release of the lawsuit last week, I’ve spent time reading and learning about the history of Mr. Rist’s employment,” Castañeda said in the email. “Based on my review of the information available, I reached a clear personal and professional conclusion. As a result, I reversed the district decision and removed Mr. Rist from service at Kalapuya Elementary School over the weekend. Furthermore, to the degree that it is within my control as the superintendent of schools, Mr. Rist will not serve in a student-facing role in Salem-Keizer Public Schools.”

Castañeda went on to defend Kalapuya principal Jennifer Neitzel, stating that Neitzel did not select Rist as an employee at Kalapuya.