Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Five apply for two West Bonner school board seats left vacant by recall election

Appointments to fill the vacancies created by the August recall election of West Bonner school board’s chair and vice chair were delayed this week after one of the remaining board members had a family emergency.

Five candidates have applied for the two positions. The board had planned to interview and select the candidates on Tuesday, then swear them in at Wednesday’s regular board meeting. Both meetings were canceled when Trustee Troy Reinbold said he would not be able to attend due to a family emergency.

Trustees Margaret Hall and Carlyn Barton could not meet without him, since they would have lacked a quorum.

Now the timeline to appoint the vacancies is uncertain as the Nov. 7 election nears and the three remaining board members face challengers of their own.

Hall, as interim chair, and Superintendent Branden Durst said in a joint statement the meetings will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

Former chair Keith Rutledge and vice chair Susan Brown were recalled Aug. 29.

If the trustees cannot fill the vacancies after 120 days, the decision will go to the Bonner County Commission.

Three candidates applied for Brown’s former seat in Zone 2, which includes Oldtown and the west part of Priest River.

Brad Cossette is a retired physical education teacher who taught for 39 years in Spokane Public Schools. He built a home in the district last year and has owned property there for over 30 years, his application says. He holds a master’s degree in administration and curriculum development from Gonzaga University.

Cossette donated $150 in April to the Bonner County Republican Central Committee, which opposed the recall and the school district’s supplemental levy that failed in May.

Donald Paden has two grandchildren who attend Priest River Elementary. He served 14 years in the U.S. Army and spent 23 years as a semitruck driver before retiring in 2022.

Paden is the admin of the Facebook page for Troy Reinbold’s re-election campaign.

Paul Turco has two children attending Priest River Elementary. He is the regional director of ATM processing for Premier Merchants Group.

Turco donated $100 in July to Idaho Moms, a group that supported the recall. Idaho Moms also endorsed Turco for the Zone 2 seat and Ann Yount for Zone 4.

Two candidates applied for Rutledge’s seat in Zone 4, which includes Laclede and east Priest River.

Wendy Eaton is the director of the Priest River location for Classical Conversations, a Christian homeschool program. She donated $100 to Keith Rutledge’s campaign in 2021.

Ann Yount, a member of Priest River City Council, has four grandchildren in the district. She has owned and operated Yount Daycare since 1982. She previously ran for the board in 1999.

Yount donated $3,000 this spring to Supporters of WBCSD, a political action committee that supported the levy.

James Hanlon's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.