Lezlie Porter 1947-2008

Washoe County School Board member Lezlie Porter passed away July 22 after a long battle with cancer. She was best known as a very conservative school board member who sent her own children to private school, but many observers, left and right, said that public image obscured a more complicated woman.

“I remember most her earnest effort to understand the significance of multiculturalism and her commitment to higher standards in our school distinct,” said American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada leader Richard Siegel. “[S]he was part of several progressive initiatives that I know about—an example of prejudgment by some of us that sometimes turned out wrong. … It was also quite remarkable to watch her keep alive the Washoe County Community Concert program with singular tenacity. This was an uphill fight given the aging constituency. Without her it would have died long ago.”

Her colleague on the right, Janine Hansen, said, “Lezlie Porter was the rare individual who truly made a difference in the community. She was a good and generous friend and devoted to her family. She worked tirelessly for those things she believed in. Her positive influence, vision and courage will be missed.”