Blasko to resign, get nearly $396K in severance with Monroe schools

The embattled superintendent exits weeks after a scathing report found his conduct created a toxic work environment.

Justin Blasko

Justin Blasko

MONROE — Superintendent Justin Blasko will resign July 31 and receive nearly $400,000 under an agreement reached with the Monroe School District.

Under the deal, Blasko will submit his resignation at the end of the month and receive $396,374.55 no later than Aug. 31. He also agreed not to sue nor seek a job with the district ever again.

Blasko, who earns roughly $250,000 a year, signed the six-page settlement June 30. School board president Jennifer Bumpus announced the deal Thursday and said directors would act on it in their meeting at 6 p.m. Monday.

The agreement concludes a short and difficult superintendent tenure for Blasko, who was hired in 2010 as the district’s executive director of human resources. In 2016, he was named assistant superintendent of learning and teaching, and in February 2020, he was tapped to lead the district.

At the helm, he steered the district through uncharted territory as COVID forced public schools into remote education. As students returned to classrooms, he drew fire for his response to racial tensions including a spate of incidents on campuses. Eventually, Blasko’s own conduct toward his staff proved his undoing.

Blasko was put on paid leave in December as the district investigated claims from employees of his inappropriate language, bullying and sexist outbursts. Employees asserted his behavior created a toxic work environment. Investigators found most allegations credible.

Following release of the report, Blasko apologized and called the allegations against him “deeply troubling.”

He added he didn’t recall many of the specific incidents alleged in the report, but that “I do not question the integrity of the people who have contributed to the report, nor do I question the validity of their personal experiences or perceptions.”

The separation agreement requires the district remove the Seabold Group investigation and Blasko’s response from its website within seven days of the board’s action. Those documents will still be available through a public records request.

It also contains provisions specifying School Board Director Chuck Whitfield will handle “all employment inquiries” and “all employment references” regarding Blasko. Whitfield supported Blasko’s hiring as superintendent and voted last summer to extend his contract to 2025.

Meanwhile, the board is looking for an interim superintendent to lead the district through the 2022-23 school year.

On Monday, board members will review responses from a community survey of preferred skills and personality traits of the interim leader. Later in the week, they will review applicants for the position.

Mallory Gruben, a Report for America corps member, contributed to this story.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623;; Twitter: @dospueblos.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A view of one of the potential locations of the new Aquasox stadium on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 in Everett, Washington. The site sits between Hewitt Avenue, Broadway, Pacific Avenue and the railroad. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
20 businesses could be demolished for downtown Everett stadium

Some business owners say the city didn’t tell them of plans for a new AquaSox stadium that could displace their businesses.

Kathy Purviance-Snow poses for a photo in her computer lab at Snohomish High School on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Snohomish, WA. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
To ban or embrace ChatGPT? Local teachers fight AI with AI — or don’t

“It has fundamentally changed my teaching in really stressful and exciting ways,” an EvCC teacher said. At all levels of education, ChatGPT poses a tricky question.

In this Feb. 5, 2018, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 7 is displayed during a debut for employees and media of the new jet in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FAA gives Boeing 90 days to develop plan to fix quality, safety issues

The agency’s ultimatum comes a day after a meeting with CEO Dave Calhoun and other top Boeing officials in Washington, D.C.

Two troopers place a photo of slain Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Gadd outside WSP District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed in a collision on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
State trooper killed, 1 arrested in crash on I-5 near Marysville

Authorities said Trooper Chris Gadd had been stopped along the freeway around 3 a.m. near 136th Street NE. A Lynnwood driver, 32, was arrested.

A man walks by Pfizer headquarters, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in New York. Pfizer will spend about $43 billion to buy Seagen and broaden its reach into cancer treatments, the pharmaceutical giant said. (AP Photo / Mark Lennihan, File)
Pfizer backs out of Everett manufacturing plant after $43B Seagen deal

Pfizer finalized the acquisition of the Bothell-based cancer drug developer in December.

Madi Humphries, 9, Rose Austin, 13, and Eirene Ritting, 8, on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
No grades, no teachers: Inside a Bothell school run by student vote

Each day at The Clearwater School, 60 students choose their own lessons. It’s one vote per person, whether you’re staff or student.

SonShine Preschool inside First Baptist Church Monroe is pictured Friday, March 1, 2024, in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
SonShine preschool in Monroe to close at the end of the year

The preschool, operated by First Baptist Church, served kids for 25 years. School leadership did not explain the reason behind the closure.

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night on December 11, 2017. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Following lawsuit, Providence commits to improved care for Deaf patients

Three patients from Snohomish County sued Providence in 2022 for alleged Americans with Disabilities Act violations.

Cars drive through snow along I-5 in Snohomish County, Washington on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024.  (Annie Barker / The Herald)
In March, 7 p.m. sunsets are back for Western Washington

Washingtonians will finally start seeing more sun starting March 10. But a little more winter could be on the way first.

One of the parking lots at Stevens Pass Thursday afternoon on December 30, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Stevens Pass to charge $20 for parking reservations on busy days

Two-thirds of spaces will remain free for early arrivers on weekends. Cars with four or more occupants can also park free.

Days after shootout with Lynnwood police, suspect checks into hospital

Police learned the 18-year-old was in a hospital in Portland, Oregon. His alleged role in the shooting remained unclear.

Snohomish County pharmacy tech accused of stealing 2,500 opioid pills

Rachel Langdon stole oxycodone while working at a Snohomish County pharmacy, according to state Department of Health allegations.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.