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Four applicants apply for vacant seat on school board

Tuesday, June 2, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA  — Four applicants are interested in the Columbia School Board seat vacated by former board member Rosie Tippin.

As of Monday, Dan Holt, Robin Hubbard, Philip Peters and Jonathan Sessions have applied for the seat. The deadline to apply is Friday.

The order in which the district office receives applications is not important, said Lynn Barnett, assistant superintendent for student support services.  

“They will fill out a brief application and be interviewed by the board,” she said.

The board will interview applicants for Tippin's seat June 11. Tippin resigned her position last month because of health reasons.

After running for a seat in April, Holt decided to try again for a chance to devote time to Columbia Public Schools, he said.

"For the many years that I have been involved with higher education, this is the best time for me to devote the time and energy to elementary and secondary education," Holt said. "My passion has been higher education and an extension of that is also my own interest in secondary education."

Holt has previous experience working for the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority and Sallie Mae. He has also worked as an education finance consultant.

With two of his sons graduated from Rock Bridge High School and two daughters still in the school system, Holt feels able to ready the district's students for post-high school careers.

"I’ve got a very good grip on what it is going to take for them to be successful," Holt said. "I think I can offer a lot of input to some of the board decisions, making sure they have the resources for them to be successful."

Hubbard has an education specialist degree in education technology from MU, along with 25 years experience as an instructor.

“I wish to help shape and execute culturally inclusive strategic plans and policies that will support CPS as the low-cost provider of high-quality education, which maximizes each student's learning potential,” Hubbard said in her application.

She has attended board meetings for almost two years to gain understanding of the district, she said.

Attempts to reach Hubbard for further comment were unsuccessful Monday.

Sessions is a Columbia native who attended Columbia Public Schools. He graduated from Hickman High School in 2001 and later attended MU to earn a bachelor's degree in education. He opened a business called Tech 2, where he does computer consulting. He is also a columnist for the Columbia Business Times.

"I feel like my background, education and involvement in Columbia — all of my experience — will complement the board in achieving its goals," Sessions said.

Attempts to reach Peters for further comment Monday were unsuccessful.

The person selected for the seat will have to file formally for the position in December and then will run for it in April, Barnett said.

School Board President Jan Mees said the board is looking for someone committed to the district and to students.

“A person who has time to give to this effort because it is very time-consuming," she said. "A person who is able and willing to see the big picture of trying to do what is best for our kids.”

Interested applicants must file an application in person at the office of the Board of Education secretary, 1818 W. Worley St., by 4:30 p.m. Friday, according to the board’s Web site. Additional information is available at www.columbia.k12.mo.us/boardvac.php.


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