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:
Suzanne Schmick – Chair, Position 5
Endicott, WA 99125
1st term 1/2015 – 12/31/2019, 2nd term 1/2020-12/31/2024
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. Currently, Suzanne serves as the Superintendent of the St. John- Endicott Cooperative Schools. In 1990 Suzanne completed her masters degree in Administration and Curriculum Development from Gonzaga University.
Ronda Penwell – Vice-Chair, Position 4
Colfax, WA 99111
1st term 1/2021-12/2025
Libraries have been an important part of Ronda’s life since childhood and have brought her great joy, a delight she’s passing down to her own children with story times and regular visits to the library being a part of their upbringing as well. As a high school English teacher at Colfax High, she also encourages her students to embrace reading and believes that anyone can grow to like reading if they just find the right book.
Ronda has lived in Colfax for three years, moving here from Prosser, WA with her husband who also teaches at Colfax High and their children. Although new to Colfax, she graduated from WSU in 2005 and says that the Palouse has long felt like home. When not reading and teaching, Ronda also loves history, all things old and vintage, yard and estate sale hunting, crafting, and most of all spending time with her family.
Heather Lustig – Chair, Position 1
Endicott WA, 99125
1st term 1/2017 – 12/31/2021
Heather Lustig moved to Whitman County in 2002. She grew up on a small farm outside of Moses Lake, Washington. Heather and her husband are raising 4 boys near Dusty and their children attend school in Colfax. She has been a stay at home mom until recently when she took a position with the Colfax School District as a Special Education Para-Professional. Heather is active in the Colfax PTO, teaches Sunday school and is the 4H horse leader for the Mockonema 4H club. Heather is excited to serve on the Whitman County Library Board of Trustees. The library has provided valuable programs and resources for her family and they’ve enjoyed participating in the Summer Reading programs, Third Thursday after-school programs, Storytime, teen activities, adult fitness classes, and various other activities.
Heather feels serving on the board is a great way to give back to the library for all it has given to her family.
Sue Kreikemeier, Position 2
Garfield, WA 99130
1st term 5/2021 – 12/31/2023
Having arrived from Central Florida more than 40 years ago, Sue is a transplant whose roots have taken hold in the deep Palouse soil. A graduate of Washington State University, she worked in the field of early childhood until her recent retirement. Some of her fondest childhood memories involve reading, including walking to and from her rural community’s summer Book Mobile laden with printed treasures. She credits her mother, an avid reader, with instilling a passion for learning and literacy in all her children.
Sue and her husband have three grown children, and enjoy the richness of country living, which includes gardening, tending chickens, entertaining friends, dabbling in art, genealogy, and, of course, reading! Recognizing the power in literacy, Sue welcomes opportunities to support community members, young and old alike, in their explorations of the world through our wonderful Whitman County Libraries.
Steve Balzarini, Position 3
Colfax, WA 99111
1st term 1/2013 – 12/31/2017, 2nd term 1/2018-12/31/2022
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.
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 Tuesday 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 509-397-4366 or 877-733-3375:
Sheri Miller, Associate Director
Shirley Cornelius, Board Executive Secretary
Most recent previous board members:
Bob Bates 2011-2020
Andrea Miller 2015-2018
Chuck Petras 2012-2016
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
*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.