An extraordinary system of cultural and historical resources.

Trustee Bios

Trustee Bios

Board of TrusteesTom Blanchard (Chairman), Bellevue (District 5), is a former Blaine County Commissioner.  He holds a MA degree in history from San Francisco State College.  Since coming to Bellevue over 28 years ago, he has been involved in numerous local history projects, taught Idaho and the Pacific Northwest history for the College of Southern Idaho, and given hundreds of public presentations on Idaho history throughout the state.  Mr. Blanchard restores log cabins and conducts historical programming for the Sawtooth Science Institute, an outreach program for Idaho State University and the Idaho Humanities Council. 

Jesse R. Walters (Vice Chairman), Boise (District 4), is a retired Idaho Supreme Court Justice.  He received an L.L.B. from the University of Idaho in 1963 and later a Juris Doctor degree from the same school. He received an L.L.M. degree from the University of Virginia in 1990.

Justice Walters has been a member of the American Bar Association for over twenty-five years and served on the board of directors of the American Judicature Society and of the Idaho Law Foundation.  He served as an officer and president of the Council of Chief Judges of the State Intermediate Courts of Appeals.  He chaired the Idaho Supreme Court's Criminal Rules Committee, the Jury Reform Committee and the pattern Criminal Jury Instructions Committee. 

During his tenure on the Idaho Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and the district court, Justice Walters participated in over 4,200 appeals.  He was the author of 1,372 appellate opinions.  Following his retirement in 2003, Justice Walters continued to serve in the judiciary as a Senior Judge, sitting as a judge pro tem with the Idaho Supreme Court and the Idaho Court of Appeals. A fourth generation Idahoan and a Boise resident since 1963, he has been active in many community affairs and was an instructor in numerous continuing legal and judicial education programs. 

Judy Meyer, Hayden Lake (District 1), is a partner in Parkwood Business Properties, an office and industrial park development and investment firm she founded with her husband.  She graduated from Kalamazoo College with a BA in Sociology and did graduate work at the University of Delaware.  She began her working career as an elementary school teacher.  She was appointed to the Idaho Commission on Women’s Programs and has been elected twice to the Board of Trustees of North Idaho College. The Governor appointed her to a five-year term on the Idaho State Board of Education in 1994 and she served as President of the Board in 1998. She is a past director of Blue Cross of Idaho, the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce and Hospice of North Idaho. She is currently a trustee of the Kootenai County Library District, a vice chairman of the Idaho Business Coalition for Education Excellence and a member of the regional Idaho Public Television Board. 

Earl Bennett, Genesee (District 2), is a retired State Geologist and former Dean of the College of Mines and Earth Resources and the College of Science at the University of Idaho.   After serving honorably in the U.S. Air Force, Bennett received degrees in geology from the University of Delaware (BA, 1968), N.C. State at Raleigh,, NC (MS, 1970) and the University of Idaho (PhD, 1973). During his career Dr. Bennett published several hundred papers, generated over $5 million in research funds and made hundreds of presentations about Idaho’s geology and mineral resources. He has testified on many occasions before various state and federal legislative committees in Boise and in Washington, DC.  In 2003, he was honored as a “life member” of the Northwest Mining Association. Retiring as an Emeritus Professor in Geology in 2003, he continues to interact with the state’s mining sector as a consultant and speaker.  

After retirement Bennett turned from concentrating on the state’s geology to studying its more recent history.  He is a member of both the Nez Perce and Latah county historical societies.  He specializes in the mining history of the Coeur d’Alene Mining District and other mining camps. Recently he was asked to serve as the city historian for Genesee, his home town. He is also part of a team updating the census of Idaho’s National Bank notes and has a general interest in the state’s banking industry.  He holds reader and research cards at both the National Archives and the Library of Congress and has done research in the National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian. 

Hope Benedict, Salmon, (District 7), is a U.S. and regional historian.  She received her BA in history from Boise State University in 1984; her MA in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English history, with a specialty in the English Reformation from the University of Oregon (Eugene) in 1988; and her Ph.D. in U.S. History with specialties in the American West and Idaho history in 1996.   Dr. Benedict taught English history, Western Civilization, U.S. history, history of the American West, the history of Multiculturalism in the United States, and Idaho history at Boise State in the late 1980s, the mid-1990s, and again in 1999.  She taught U.S. history, history of the American West, and Idaho history at Idaho State University (1997-98); and more recently, Dr. Benedict has taught through Skidmore College’s (Saratoga Springs, New York) University without Walls program, developing and teaching courses on the history of the American West, Women in the American West, and the American West in Transition. 

Dr. Benedict serves as the director of the Lemhi County Historical Society and Museum and serves on the Board of Guardians for Lemhi County.  As a regional historian, Dr. Benedict conducts research for different organizations, including right-of-way/public access for Lemhi County, water rights research for Lemhi County residents, and works with local groups to produce interpretive historical exhibits.  She has also given a series of historical presentations on behalf of the Lemhi County Historical Society and continues her research on Gilmore, Idaho, and a new project focusing on women in the West.

W. James (Jim) Johnston, Pocatello (District 6), is a real estate broker and former educator. Jim has a BS is Education from the University of Idaho; a Masters degree in Religious Education and a Minor in Educational Administration from Brigham Young University; he has also completed coursework for a D.A. in Government from Idaho State University.  Jim is very involved in politics and civic activities.  He is past District Governor for Rotary International, a past National Director and Vice- President for the National Association of Realtors, and Past President of the Idaho State Civic Symphony.  He was selected as the Idaho Business Leader of the year in 2007 by the Idaho State University College of Business. 

Bill Butticci, Emmett, (District 3) is an Idaho Native of Emmett with family ties going back to the pioneer days. He is currently serving a second term as Mayor for the City part time and is employed fulltime at Micron Technology working in Quality Control.  Bill has also spent ten years living in Boston while supporting defense contracts and used the majority of the weekends taking the family to the historic sites of New England.

While serving as Mayor, Bill has taken steps to restore and preserve the historic sites in the community. A design Review Ordinance was developed and passed to maintain the look of the historic downtown district. The city park band shell has been restored and put back to its original use of having performances for community events. Currently Mayor Butticci is working on the preservation of one of the oldest homes in the state of Idaho and including it as part of a Scenic Byway named 52 on 52 in which the house may be toured. Along with this Bill's Revitalization Committee has promoted a walking trail which utilizes restored
historical bridges from around Idaho which cross the waterways of the path. The Lolo Creek Bridge was presented with an Orchid Award.  He believes that we must preserve our past and educate our youth to maintain our identity as not to get lost in the present.

Mayor Butticci currently serves on the board of directors for Sage, a Community of Councils and has been appointed for a second-term to the 3rd Judicial District Magistrate Courts Commission.