He joined the Richland School Board with the flip of a coin. Now he’s leaving

Tri-City Herald file

Brett Amidan’s term started with a coin flip, and now it’s ending with a new job.

Amidan, one of the newest Richland school board directors, is leaving his spot at the end of the summer with hopes of handing it off to volunteer Kari Williams. He is leaving the area to pursue a teaching career at Brigham Young University-Idaho.

“I’ve always enjoyed teaching and really enjoy teaching at WSU Tri-Cities,” he said. “I just started a data science major and that’s where my passion is, so I decided to apply. Teaching has never felt like a job to me, and the opportunity to do it full time was very appealing.”

Amidan, a statistician at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, beat out now-fellow Director Jill Oldson in a 2015 race decided by the toss of an Eisenhower silver dollar. The two had tied with 6,178 votes.

He enjoyed his time as part of the board and helping to dig through the data.

“I feel my skill-set and experiences as a parent have been helpful in directing the district,” he said. “I’m sad to leave and intended to run again.”


While he announced his decision to the board a month ago, it became more clear this week as people filed to run for his position. Four people — Lloyd Becker, Jay Clough, Ron Higgins and Kari Williams — have announced to run for the board seat.

Amidan is throwing his support behind Williams, a mother of five with a master’s degree in education. She worked on recent successful school bond campaigns and volunteered on the Instructional Materials Committee.

“I was beyond excited when I heard that she was going to run,” Amidan said. “She would be a great addition to the board and provides a great and missing perspective to the board as a young mom and very experienced in the education field.”

Cameron Probert covers breaking news and education for the Tri-City Herald, where he tries to answer readers’ questions about why police officers and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He studied communications at Washington State University.