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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Two hired to oversee safety and transportation at Spokane Public Schools

Spokane Public Schools will be relying on two retirees with a combined six decades of experience to oversee its safety and transportation departments on an interim basis following the sudden resignation last month of Santos Picacio.

Ed Lewis, who has worked almost 30 years in emergency management, will serve as the district’s interim co-director of Campus Safety.

Joe Madsen, the new interim co-director for Student Transportation and Risk Management, has three decades of experience in similar capacities in Spokane and Pullman.

The hires were announced Tuesday night by Associate Superintendent Linda McDermott.

The position has seen frequent turnover in the last year. Following the retirement last November of Mark Sterk, the district hired longtime community relations director Kevin Morrison on an interim basis through June 30.

Morrison was replaced on a full-time basis on July 15 by former Durham manager Santos Picacio, who resigned after two weeks following allegations last year in court records that he abused his wife and suffers from long-term mental health and substance abuse issues.

Lewis rose to a Type 1 Incident Commander and has been assigned to more than 30 major incidents throughout the United States.

He has worked in emergency management in the Spokane County Fire District 4, Chelan County Fire District 1 and with Greater Spokane Emergency Management.

Madsen has served in both Safety and Risk Management roles with WSU Pullman, Spokane Public Schools, NEWESD 101 and Gonzaga University.

Madsen spent 13 years as the director of Safety, Transportation, and Risk Management for the district from 1993-2006.

It’s unclear how long Lewis and Madsen will serve in their interim roles, district spokesman Brian Coddington said.

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