Toppenish High School

Toppenish High School. 

The Yakima County Sheriff’s Office is interested in talking to anyone who attended a party at the home of John L. and Bertha Cerna, employees of the Toppenish School District.

The Sheriff’s Office is looking into possible inappropriate conduct at parties at the couple’s home, as well as potentially other areas in the county, public information officer Casey Schilperoort said.

He encouraged anyone with firsthand information to contact the sheriff’s office.

“We’re always interested in talking to people who have information, even if it’s the same allegations that we have heard before,” Schilperoort said.

Schilperoort said the investigation is likely to continue for at least a couple more months.

“We’re taking the investigation of the allegations seriously,” Schilperoort said.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction opened an investigation into John L. and Bertha Cerna in July, staff said. OSPI investigates possible violations of the code of professional conduct by certificated educators.

John L. Cerna — also known as Johnny — is a high school vice principal and Bertha Cerna is high school English language learner teacher in Toppenish. They are on paid administrative leave, Toppenish School District spokesperson Cecilia Salguero Rios said in an email. They were placed on leave in June.

John L. Cerna is the son of District Superintendent John Cerna.

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