A familiar face in Idaho education circles will take over as spokesman for the state’s largest school district. In unrelated news, the same district’s board chair is stepping down.
Both changes surfaced during a busy board meeting at the West Ada School District Monday night:
Greg Wilson named spokesman
Gov. Brad Little’s former point person on education issues is the district’s new chief communications officer. Superintendent Derek Bub introduced Greg Wilson and his new role to the board Monday night, touting Wilson’s experience, including his time as senior education policy advisor to the governor.
“He has a wide range of experience in Idaho education,” Bub told the board.
Wilson replaces West Ada’s former chief communications officer Char Jackson. Wilson’s hiring comes just months after he left Little’s office to join a private, out-of-state firm that received a $3.5 million no-bid data management contract from the state around the time of his departure. Click here for a timeline of those events.
Wilson told EdNews Monday that leaving the governor’s office felt right at the time, but that he eventually realized his “heart was still in education.”
Wilson told EdNews his salary would start at $117,700. West Ada community liaison Niki Scheppers said Wilson has not signed a contract with the district yet and that she could not confirm his salary, though she should be able to in the “next few days.”
Wilson introduced himself to the board. His wife, a school psychologist, and two children were also in attendance Monday.
Coffelt steps down
Board chairman Rusty Coffelt is stepping down from the board, he announced in a resignation letter Monday.
Coffelt, appointed to the board last year, said “family matters” will take him out of state and prevent him from finishing his term, which was set to run through January of 2024.
“I resign my position this evening for no other reason than a need to focus on some personal family matters that will require me to leave the State of Idaho,” Coffelt wrote in the letter, attached to the board’s Monday meeting agenda.
When Coffelt was elected board chair in January, he disclosed that he may have to vacate the role by late summer of this year to care for his aging parents, EdNews previously reported.
“With that said, I am ready to fulfill the position of chairman. I think I can be effective in that role and continue this mission this board has of providing the best education for our children,” he said at the time.
A rash of trustee resignations has left Coffelt’s 16-month tenure the second longest on the board, behind Rene Ozuna, who has been in office since 2016. Trustees Lori Frasure and Angie Redford were sworn in January of this year, and Lucas Baylon was appointed to the five-member board last month.
“I find myself sad that I am cutting short the opportunity to work alongside such amazing people, but also filled with great optimism for the future of this school district,” Coffelt wrote in his resignation letter.
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