Former school heads go north

Two former South Whidbey School District administrators who resigned in March are headed back to school this summer in Alaska. The district secretary who worked with them and resigned the same day will now have a daily commute to Edmonds.

Former South Whidbey schools superintendent Martin Laster has accepted a position as an assistant superintendent for the North Slope Borough School District in Barrow, Alaska. According to the district’s Web site, the district has about the same number of students as South Whidbey — 2,115 — but consists of 10 schools and an operating budget of $50 million, more than three times the size of that in the South Whidbey School District.

Dan Blanton, South Whidbey’s former assistant superintendent, has signed on with the Anchorage School District as the new principal at Lake Otis Elementary in Anchorage. The school has 450 students in grades k-6.

Susan Nerison, who resigned with Laster and Blanton, worked as the secretary for three South Whidbey superintendents over 22 years. She has been offered jobs in the central offices of the Edmonds and Everett school districts.

The three resigned from the South Whidbey School district, saying they could not longer perform their duties due to the acrimonious relationship with members of the South Whidbey Board of Education. The three retained Seattle attorney, Judith A. Longquist, to represent them at that time.

In his letter of resignation Laster, pointed to criticism brought on by an audit of the district’s financial practices, an acrimonious relationship with members of the board of education, news stories in The South Whidbey Record, and actions by district staff as his reasons for leaving.

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