Board of Trustees
Photo (l-r): Bob Bates, Suzanne Schmick, Charles Petras, Andrea Miller, and Steve Balzarini
The WCL Board of Trustees is composed of five members of the community who are appointed by the county commissioners to serve five-year terms. A board member may serve two consecutive terms. Each member serves without compensation. They are:
Home 509-229-3444, work 229-3813, fax 229-3980
1101 Summit Road
Colton, WA 99113
1st term 1/2011 - 12/31/2015
Bob Bates has operated an insurance office in Colton for more than 25
years. A graduate of WSU with a bachelor and master’s degrees and a veteran
of the Vietnam War, Bates was a teacher and coach at Tekoa for seven years
and then moved to Colton where he led the Wildcats to a state title win at
the Kingdome in 1977. He started his insurance business part-time in 1979
and became a full time agent in 1984. He now offers life insurance,
investment and retirement plan services at his office in the former bank
building in Colton.
Charles (Chuck) Petras - Vice-Chair, position 1
Home 509-635-1502, cell 509-991-0613
2302 Walters Road
Farmington, WA 99128
1st term. 2/2012 -2/2016
Chuck Petras believes libraries are a force for betterment, both personally and economically and joined the library board with a goal of encouraging environments that foster innovation and creativity. Chuck has a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and works as a research engineer at Schweitzer Engineering. He serves as Commissioner for Fire Protection District #3 and lives with his wife between Garfield and Farmington.
303 E. Thorn
Colfax, WA 99111
1st term 1/2013–12/31/2017
In many ways, Steve Balzarini's life has been a journey from one library to the next. His first library memory is of an outing to the Great Falls Public Library with his mother when he was five. She was a voracious reader and passed the love of books and reading to her son. Steve foolishly thought he was destined to be a mechanical engineer, but after his first year at Montana State University he came to realize that books were more important than his slide rule. After graduating from MSU he came to the Palouse as a graduate student in history. His quest for a PhD led him to Holland Library, first as a student, and after he finished his degree, as the assistant WSU archivist. His years at Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections were an historians dream come true--acres of documents and books with unlimited access. But in 1978 Gonzaga University called and he replaced one very large graduate research library for that of a modest undergraduate teaching library. Crosby (now Foley) Library proved to be ideal for his needs, and he helped develop the modern European history collection. His almost daily drive to Spokane for the past thirty-five years has been made bearable by the wonderful collection of books on tape at the Colfax branch of the Whitman County Libraries.
Home 509-648-3238, cell 509-592-3646
3501 Ingram Road
Saint John, WA 99171
1st term 1/2014–12/31/2018
Home: 509-657-3445, Cell: 509-953-6612
Endicott, WA 99125
Filled unexpired term 1/2015 - 12/31/2018
Suzanne Schmick is a lifetime resident of Whitman County. She grew up on a wheat farm between Farmington and Tekoa (Seltice). Following high school graduation, Suzanne attended the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington for two years, and then transferred to Washington State University to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Home Economics Education. In 1983 Suzanne married Steve Schmick of Endicott and moved to his third generation family farm where they have raised two children, Dylan and Aja.
In 1983 following her move to Endicott, Suzanne began working and continues to work for Endicott School District. During her time with the district, she has worked in the business office, teaching in the elementary and middle schools and has served as the building principal. In 1990 Suzanne completed her masters degree in Administration and Curriculum Development from Gonzaga University.
The five-member board of trustees is responsible for governance of Whitman County Rural Library District, which is all of Whitman County except within the Pullman City limits. The district is composed of 14 branch libraries and nearly 30 employees, most being part-time. Board members work actively to learn about the library, oversee operations and help guide its future.
Library board members are appointed by the Whitman County Commissioners to serve a term* of 5 years. They must live within the library district and are not paid, although a travel reimbursement is available. Currently the board meets the 3rd Monday of each month at 4 p.m. in Colfax or occasionally in other branch locations. These meetings are open to the public but please contact the library to confirm the meeting location.
Library contacts by phone at 397-4366 or
Kristie Kirkpatrick, Library Director 397-3970, cell 592-7984
Peggy Bryan, Board executive secretary 549-3613, cell 710-7554
Most recent previous board members:
Rebecca Dickerson 2002-2014
Rich Chittenden 2014
Teresa Myott 2006-2014
Jon Kehne 2003-2012
John Aune 1998-2011
Leslee Miller 2001-2010
Linda Fletcher 2001-2005
Ronald B. Webster 1997–2002
Anna-Maria Shannon 1999-2002
Dennis Ulrey 1998-2001
Mary Sue Thompson 1990-2000
Bob Wallace 1998-2000
Marilyn Bafus 1988-1998
Dorothy Smith 1991-1998
*Explanation of term: A trustee can serve a maximum of 2 terms of 5 years each. Filling any part of an un-expired term does not count as a term and can be in addition to the two full terms of service.