Charles Lee
Charles Lee

SALEM — The president of Blanchet School here is stepping down after 16 years in the post.

Charles Lee, who also sat on the Keizer City Council, will consult with Salem-area schools and businesses to form technical education programs. Lee will lead a division of a subsidiary of Salem-based Mountain West Investments, a real estate company led by longtime Catholic school supporter Larry Tokarski.

"I will be working to develop a work force that will meet the needs of our community and make us more attractive to prospective businesses and strengthen our local economy," Lee says.

The board of directors at Blanchet has named Anthony Guevara, the current principal at Blanchet, to serve as president/principal of the school, which serves students in grades 6-12. Guevara says he is "humbled by the board's trust and confidence" and wrote in a letter to parents and Blanchet backers that he is looking forward to implementing initiatives "to build on the successes of the past."
Lee will stay on part time through August.

Guevara, who calls Lee a mentor, and others are thanking Lee for helping Blanchet advance.

“Chuck Lee has helped to build the Blanchet Catholic School to be a premier educational institution," says Kevin Mannix, longtime Oregon political leader, chair of the Blanchet board and one of the founders of the school.

For Mannix, Lee's talent was developing an organization and educational program built to last.  

"We have a strong board, a great staff, great students and families, and a very supportive community," Mannix says.

The National Catholic Education Association last year named Blanchet's board as one of the ten outstanding school boards in the United States.   

Lee says he is confident Blanchet will abide as an "icon of excellence." He told the Statesman-Journal that Blanchet is one of the Salem area's "great success stories."