More candidates file to run for Columbia School Board

Tuesday, December 29, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CST; updated 12:27 p.m. CST, Wednesday, January 20, 2010

COLUMBIA — Three more people have filed to run for the Columbia School Board in the April 6, 2010, election. They are James Whitt, Dan Holt and Jonathan Sessions.

Three seats are open: two full three-year terms and a one-year term, which remains of a seat won by Rosie Tippin in 2008.

Tippin resigned in May for health reasons and died in July. Whitt, who was appointed in June to fill Tippin's seat until the next election, now seeks a three-year term.

Holt, who ran for the board last spring and applied for Tippin's seat, is running for a three-year term.

Sessions, who also applied for Tippin's seat, is running for the one-year term.

Earlier, School Board President Jan Mees said she is seeking a second term, and Philip G. Peters Jr., who applied for the Tippin vacancy, announced he is running for a three-year seat.

Whitt is the executive director of the nonprofit cPhase Sports Association, in which he works with youth in sports and academics. Whitt said that working with young people in cPhase Sports spurred him to apply for the board and that he wants to continue to work toward improving students' lives.

Holt has spent most of his career in education finance and has worked for the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority and Sallie Mae. Holt helped establish the Make High School Count program in Missouri. It helps middle and junior high school students prepare for high school and make the most of their opportunities.  

Holt said he thinks his professional background has acquainted him with college students and what they are looking for, and that will help him guide K-12 education.

Sessions co-owns a consulting firm, Tech 2, and teaches at the Columbia Area Career Center. A graduate of Hickman High School and MU, Sessions said he thinks his experiences going through the Columbia school system and starting a business in the community would be beneficial to the board. He also said his particular knowledge of technology sets him apart.

Sessions said he wants to improve the board's communication with the community, in part by opening up new channels of communication.

The filing deadline to run for School Board is 5 p.m. Jan. 19, 2010. Applications must be filed in person at the district's main office, 1818 W. Worley St. 

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