Commission suspends former Shelley principal’s administrative certificate

The Idaho Professional Standards Commission on Thursday voted to suspend the administrative certificate of Eric Lords, a former Shelley High School principal who admitted using school funds for more than $3,700 in personal purchases.

Lords’ administrative certificate will be suspended for two years, according to a stipulation agreement accepted by the commission, which regulates educator certificates in Idaho.

Lords signed the stipulation agreement in April, admitting to wrongdoing and agreeing to the suspension. Before it could become official, the agreement needed to be approved by the full commission.

Lisa Colón Durham, director of certification and professional standards for the State Department of Education, confirmed the group’s decision at a Thursday meeting.

“It was accepted as presented,” she said.

The stipulation agreement between Lords and the commission outlines purchases the former principal made “with the intent” to reimburse the school:

  • A family ski pass to Grand Targhee Ski Resort for $2,049.
  • Chrome ATV pipes for $689.99.
  • A 50-gallon water heater for $361.81.
  • Powder coating services for $319.77.
  • Lawn care services for $289.

The purchases, which took place at “various times during the school years and during the summer,” provided the commission with “probable cause” that Lords “willfully violated” two principles of the code of ethics adopted by the Idaho State Board of Education:

  • “A professional educator entrusted with public funds and property honors that trust with a high level of honesty, accuracy, and responsibility.”
  • “A professional educator exemplifies honesty and integrity in the course of professional practice.”

Lords has since paid the district $3,720 in restitution, the stipulation agreement reads.

In addition to Lords’ administrative certificate, he holds a teaching certificate in Physical Education and Health, the document says.

At Thursday’s professional standards commission, members discussed whether or not to  suspend all of Lords’ certificates or just his administrative certificate, Durham said.

Ultimately, the group decided not to take action against Lords’ teaching certificate.

Idaho Education News reporter Devin Bodkin contributed to this report.

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