State Board names finalists for NIC trustee vacancies

The State Board of Education has picked finalists for three North Idaho College trustee vacancies — a search process that will continue, despite a lawsuit.

State Board officers plan to interview the eight finalists in Coeur d’Alene Thursday, and the full board plans to appoint the new trustees Friday.

The State Board is stepping in due to a rash of trustee resignations at the embattled community college. Trustee Michael Barnes resigned in January due to questions about his residency. After the four remaining trustees failed to agree on a successor to Barnes, longtime trustees Ken Howard and Christie Wood turned in their resignations, effective Tuesday.

State law gives the State Board the authority to fill multiple vacancies on a community college board — a process that last occurred in 2017, when the board appointed trustees for the newly created College of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls.

The two remaining NIC board members — Chairman Todd Banducci and trustee Greg McKenzie — filed a lawsuit challenging the appointment process, arguing that the board should fill only Barnes’ board position. A judge last week denied the trustees’ request for a temporary restraining order to block the appointments.

The State Board received 37 applicants for the three vacancies.

The board’s three officers — President Kurt Liebich, Vice President Linda Clark and Secretary David Hill — narrowed this field to the finalists’ list, released Monday:

Seat 1 (the board seat being vacated by Wood)

  • William “Hal” Godwin, Coeur d’Alene, a former vice president for student affairs and vice provost at the University of Idaho.
  • David Wold, Coeur d’Alene, a retired ophthalmologist and current NIC Foundation board member.

Seat 2 (the board seat being vacated by Howard)

  • Brad Corkill, Cataldo, owner and president, Whiteman Lumber Co. Inc., and a former Idaho Fish and Game Commission member.
  • John Goedde, Coeur d’Alene, a former chairman of the Senate Education Committee and a former NIC Foundation board member.
  • Rachel Wickham, Coeur d’Alene, a registered nurse and clinical coordinator with Kootenai Health.

Seat 5 (the board seat vacated by Barnes)

  • Pete Broschet, Hauser, human resources director, Empire Airlines.
  • Marlon “Brad” Patzer, Post Falls, a district services manager with the Idaho Digital Learning Alliance.
  • Paul Sturm, Spirit Lake, a retired school superintendent in Pullman, Wash., who ran against Barnes in the 2020 trustee election.

The three appointees will serve through the November election. They have the option of running for a four-year term — and at least two finalists addressed that possibility in their applications. Goedde said he has no plans to run in the fall. Broschet said he would be willing to serve “for as many terms as the community will re-elect me.”

Check back later this week for full coverage of this week’s State Board’s meetings.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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