Reception honors departing Columbia School Board members

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 | 12:49 a.m. CDT; updated 6:49 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

COLUMBIA — Departing Columbia School Board members Darin Preis and David Ballenger met with their replacements and other community members at a goodbye reception before Monday night’s school board meeting.

At the reception, held by Columbia Public Schools, Preis and Ballenger greeted attendees in a receiving line. About 50 people were present, including the newly elected board members, Ines Segert and Rosie Tippin.

Preis and Ballenger offered advice for new board members.

Ballenger said it can be overwhelming “to just jump in.” He said the first meeting is a good time for new members to listen and understand the operations of the district.

He said he wanted the new members to remember the board’s main job. “You’re responsible for the education of the kids. Just remember the kids. That’s who we’re in business for.”

Preis said, “Keep a thick skin.” He also stressed the importance of keeping the lines of communication open between the school board and the community.

“We’ve got to make sure the board stays open to communication with the public,” he said.

Both Ballenger and Preis were elected to three-year terms in 2005. This year, Ballenger decided not to seek re-election after serving since 1994. Preis ran as an incumbent but was defeated.

Tippin and Segert were sworn in at Monday’s school board meeting. Tom Rose, who was re-elected last week, was reinstated.

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