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State names eight finalists vying for North Idaho College Board of Trustees seats

UPDATED: Mon., May 2, 2022

Aerial view of North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.  (Courtesy NIC)
Aerial view of North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. (Courtesy NIC)

The Idaho State Board of Education has announced the finalists vying for three seats on the North Idaho College Board of Trustees.

Eight were selected out of 37 applicants to replace Christie Wood, Ken Howard and Michael Barnes on the college board. The resignations of Wood and Howard are effective Tuesday, while Barnes stepped down in January.

Idaho State Board of Education President Kurt Liebich, Vice President Linda Clark and Secretary David Hill will interview the finalists Thursday at the Coeur d’Alene campus. The interviews will be open to the public and livestreamed, with more details coming Tuesday.

The state stepped in to fill the seats, as the resignations of Wood and Howard leave the five-member college board without a quorum needed to convene.

There are two finalists to replace Wood to represent Zone 1, three to replace Howard in Zone 2 and three to replace Barnes in Zone 3. There are seven men and one woman.

The chosen three will take over on a board that’s struggled with controversy in the past year, as complaints about the board’s conduct and leadership have prompted an investigation into the college’s accreditation status.

While North Idaho College remains accredited, the college was issued a warning from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities that could lead to more consequences if certain issues aren’t resolved by next year.

In announcing the finalists, the state board also released their resumes and letters of interest.

Here’s a breakdown of their qualifications:

Zone 1

William “Hal” Godwin and Dr. David Wold will interview to represent Zone 1.

Godwin, a Coeur d’Alene resident who is a professor emeritus at the University of Idaho, has worked as a professor and administrator at UI for more than three decades.

He has served as professor emeritus since 2006, prior to which he was UI’s director of student health services and a professor of guidance and counseling for three years. Godwin took those roles after more than 20 years as the vice president for student affairs and vice provost at UI, part of which was also spent as the faculty athletics representative for the NCAA and Big Sky Conference.

A licensed psychologist in Idaho, Godwin obtained his master’s and doctorate in clinical psychology from Washington State University.

“I have the depth of experience and knowledge required for this trustee position,” Godwin’s letter of interest reads, “and I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my qualifications, along with the opportunities and challenges facing North Idaho College.”

Wold is a retired ophthalmologist who worked at the North Idaho Eye Institute for 45 years, from 1972 to 2017.

The Coeur d’Alene resident is a former president and current member of the North Idaho College Foundation, the college’s fundraising arm. Wold’s past experience also includes time served on the Idaho Medical Association board, the Coeur d’Alene Schools Board of Trustees, the Coeur d’Alene Kiwanis Club, the Coeur d’Alene Rotary Club and the Coeur d’Alene Parks and Recreation Commission.

Wold earned his doctorate from the University of Washington. He has had children who have attended the Coeur d’Alene community college and a granddaughter who is a current student.

In his letter of interest, Wold made it clear he would serve in the interim, but is uninterested in running for the seat full time in November.

“I have considerable experience serving on boards and a good understanding of the workings and problems facing the college,” he wrote. “After 50 years of involvement within the community, I am well aware of the character and needs of the community and realize the integral role that NIC plays in this community.”

Zone 2

Brad Corkill, former state Sen. John Goedde and Rachel Wickham are the three finalists for Zone 2.

Corkill, of Cataldo, has been a professional in the timber industry for more than 40 years, presently serving as owner and president of Whiteman Lumber Company, Inc. for more than three decades. A Coeur d’Alene native, Corkill has a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University.

Appointed in 2013, Corkill retired as the Panhandle Region representative on the Idaho Fish and Game Commission in 2021. He has also served on the boards for the Idaho CASA Program, the Shoshone Medical Center Foundation and the Idaho Public Charter School Commission.

In his letter of interest, Corkill said he is applying to restore North Idaho College as a community college “whose sole purpose is to offer the students an opportunity to better themselves.”

“NIC should not be a battleground for conflicting political or ideological ideas,” he wrote. “Also, the classroom is not the forum for promoting anything other than the stated curriculum.”

Goedde, who lives in Coeur d’Alene, was an Idaho state senator for 14 years, serving on the Senate from 2000 to 2014.

In that time, Goedde served as the chair of the Senate Education Committee and also sat on the state Board of Education committee in education reform, governor task forces on education improvement and health exchanges and the Board of Education Accountability Oversight Committee, among others. He is a former precinct committeeman for the Kootenai County Republican Party.

A longtime member of the North Idaho College Foundation board, Goedde has past experience on a number of different boards and commissions. Goedde said he is a part of Save NIC, a group formed to spread awareness for the importance of community college accreditation.

He has also served on boards including the Coeur d’Alene School District 271 Board of Trustees, the chambers of commerce for North Idaho and Coeur d’Alene, the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission Council and the Idaho Suicide Prevention Council. He has a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant administration from Washington State University.

Goedde acknowledged finding a full-time president to replace Rick MacLennan, who was fired by the board in September, and addressing the accreditation concerns as “immediate challenges” facing the college, he wrote in his letter of interest. He said he believes the presidential search process has been “deliberately delayed” by the board.

“NIC is a vital institution to our community which has been imperiled by the leadership of the current Board,” he wrote. “While I have no interest in seeking the seat in November, I believe I have the qualifications and the interest to provide the leadership necessary to direct a path forward toward full accreditation.”

Wickham has worked at Kootenai Health since 2013, serving as a clinical coordinator and dedicated charge nurse as an administrator of operating room personnel.

A Coeur d’Alene resident, Wickham’s past board experience includes time served as president of the Eastside Fire Protection District board, Region 1 director for the Idaho State Fire Commissioners Association and the North Idaho AIDS Coalition. Wickham previously volunteered with the Haiti Endowment Fund as a team leader and as an emergency medical technician for the Harrison Community Ambulance Association.

Wickham has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Lewis-Clark State College. She also has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Whitman College, having served as a math teacher nearly 20 years ago.

Quick actions are needed to address the accreditation challenges facing NIC, Wickham wrote.

“My passion for higher education, combined with my previous board experience and being able to solve complex problems and implement solutions while building teams, makes me an excellent candidate.”

Zone 5

The three Zone 5 finalists are Pete Broschet, Marlon “Brad” Patzer and Paul Sturm.

Broschet, who applied for the position a few months ago when the North Idaho College Board of Trustees was conducting the search for a Zone 5 replacement, is the director of human resources for Empire Airlines based in Hayden, Idaho. He was hired August 2016.

A Hauser resident, Broschet is a 2001 graduate from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration (human resource management). In his letter of interest, Broschet indicated he would intend to run for re-election if selected for the interim position.

“My practical, no-nonsense approach to business and risk management will assist North Idaho College with the issues that they are facing,” he wrote in his letter to the state Board, as he did in his letter to the college Board of Trustees.

Since 2003, Patzer is the district services manager for the Idaho Digital Learning Alliance (IDLA), a state-sponsored online school. He is a liaison for IDLA to counties in North Idaho, according to his resume.

Patzer has worked in education for more than 30 years, including at North Idaho College as an adult basic education instructor. He and his wife also own Amaris Behavioral Health in Coeur d’Alene.

A principal evaluation reviewer through the Idaho State Board of Education, Patzer’s other board experience includes time served on Idaho’s Technology Task Force, the Northwest Education Association Board and the state Board of Education’s Online Learning Subcommittee.

He earned his specialist in education degree and a master’s in secondary education from UI. Patzer is also a graduate of North Idaho College.

“I believe I would be a dispassionate voice of reason concerned for the well-being of the college and of our community which is vitally needed from now until the next election when voters will have the opportunity to choose their District 5 NIC Board representative,” he wrote in his letter of interest.

Sturm is a retired superintendent from Pullman Public Schools, having served in that role from 2006 to 2016.

A Spirit Lake resident, Sturm’s previous experience includes four years as assistant superintendent of Pullman Public Schools and two decades, collectively, at Central Valley High School where he rose the ranks from teacher to an eight-year stint as principal.

Sturm, who lost against Barnes in the 2020 election for the Zone 5 seat, has previously served on the Washington Association of School Administrators, the Pullman Education Foundation and the Pullman Chamber of Commerce, among other boards.

Sturm earned his doctorate in education from Washington State University after obtaining a master’s from Whitworth College. A Spokane Falls Community College graduate, Sturm said his background with community college education partially spurred him to seek a seat on the North Idaho College Board of Trustees.

“I am not interested in promoting any particular political or religious perspective,” he wrote in his letter of interest. “Instead, my interest rests in assuring that faculty and students are able to pursue their educational interests according to applicable laws and policies and without intrusive interference by the board.”

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