Idaho State Board of Education group photo

Idaho state Board of Education

Two longtime members of the Idaho state Board of Education are retiring at the end of this month, and Gov. Brad Little is seeking applicants to replace them. Richard Westerberg, of Preston, has served on the state board since 2007; Don Soltman, of Twin Lakes and formerly of Coeur d’Alene, has been on the board for 10 years.

“I want to thank Don and Richard for their unwavering service and dedication to Idaho’s students,” Little said in a news release. “They both leave a legacy and a strong foundation to continue our efforts in fulfilling our state’s constitutional responsibility for public education.”

He added, "It’s no secret that education is one of my top priorities as governor. Filling these positions with the right candidates for the task is crucial as we aspire to keep improving Idaho’s K-20 education system.”

Applications are online at

Westerberg, who chaired then-Gov. Butch Otter’s education improvement task force, is a retired former operations vice president of PacifiCorp and served four years as an officer in the U. S Army, and 12 years on the Preston School District Board of Trustees.

Soltman, former vice president of Kootenai Medical Center and a former longtime school trustee in the Lakeland School District in North Idaho, is an Air Force Academy graduate with a master’s degree in health care administration from Baylor University, who served 10 years in the Air Force, working a health care facilities across the United States, Europe and Vietnam.

Greg Wilson, Little’s senior education adviser, said, “They’re going to be big shoes to fill, there’s no doubt about that, just in terms of dedication and engagement.” Wilson said Little is expecting lots of applications.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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