Sad news

November 2021 - It is with sad news, we share the passing of retired Snohomish School District Superintendent Bill Mester.

Mester died peacefully with his family by his side on Monday, November 1, after battling pneumonia. In late spring/early summer, he and his wife Fran moved to the Baltimore area to be closer to family. At age 73, he leaves behind his wife of 50 years, his two children, his daughter-in-law and his two grandchildren.

Mester retired as Superintendent of the Snohomish School District in 2015, ending a 43-year career in education and 35 years leading school districts. 14 of those years were in Snohomish. 

During the 14 years in Snohomish, Mester oversaw hundreds of millions of dollars in construction projects and led during a teacher strike during a time of incredible community change. While in Snohomish, voters approved about $400 million in construction projects, including a second comprehensive high school (Glacier Peak High School), an aquatics center and additional new and rebuilt schools. With state matching money and interest, the total investment was close to $500 million.

At the time of his retirement in 2015, Mester said he was impressed by the sense of ownership the community had in its schools and its willingness to reach consensus.

“I want you to know that I will take with me fond memories of the very deep relationships that exist in our district. Snohomish is a wonderful place that I am honored to call home,” Mester said at that time.

“Bill was the leader our community needed at a time of important transformation,” said Jay Hagen, Snohomish School District Board President. “His ability to listen deeply and build relationships made difficult things possible. Under his leadership nothing was too small or too big. He will be deeply missed, but his values and legacy continue on.”

The family requests that all donations be made in Mester’s name to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in Annapolis -