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Two Blaine School Board members resign

Both cite personal, health reasons as board begins to weigh budget cuts

Blaine School Board members Ben Lazarus, Erika Creydt and Cliff Freeman at a Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 school board meeting. (Charlotte Alden/Cascadia Daily News)
By Charlotte Alden General Assignment/Enterprise Reporter

Two Blaine School District members have resigned in close succession. 

Don Leu, who has been on the board since 2022 and served as board president, resigned on Thursday, Feb. 22 due to health reasons. Ryan Ford, who began on the board in January after being elected in the fall, resigned effective Wednesday, Feb. 21 due to his wife’s health and family responsibilities. 

“I am confident in the capabilities of the remaining board members and trust that the positive momentum we have built together will continue,” Leu wrote in a resignation letter to the superintendent. “My hope is that the board will persist in its commitment to working collaboratively, putting the needs of our children first and avoiding distractions that may hinder our collective progress.” 

Ford appeared at a Monday, Feb. 26 school board meeting to thank board members for their hard work.

“Not being able to perform to my fullest is not something I can be satisfied with and I feel the community in Blaine and my district deserves better,” Ford wrote in his resignation letter. 

Superintendent Christopher Granger said at the Monday meeting that he appreciated both Ford’s and Leu’s service.

The board will now need to appoint two new members within 90 days through interviews in an open public meeting, per district policy. Granger said they intend to hold those interviews on March 15, and information on how to apply for those positions will be released to the community shortly. 

The remaining board members named Cliff Freeman the new board president. 

The resignations come at a turbulent time while the district is looking at making a $2.5 million budget reduction and handling the departure of a key staff member.

In January, Chief Financial Officer Amber Porter resigned from her position, as reported by The Northern Light. At the Monday meeting, board member Ben Lazarus said he had received an email from Porter in which she said she left the district due to alleged attacks from board member Erika Creydt. 

Creydt said her intention was not to attack Porter, but she wanted clear answers on the district’s finances. Porter has moved on to a role in another school district, but is still supporting the district’s business office in the transition period, Granger said on Monday.

Freeman said at the end of the meeting that he views the board as a team. 

“When someone leaves, we all know that opens an opportunity to someone in the future,” Freeman said. “So good things can come out of it. I’m not worried about filling these positions going forward. We’ll just continue marching ahead.” 

Charlotte Alden is CDN’s general assignment/enterprise reporter; reach her at; 360-922-3090 ext. 123.

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