This is part of the Missourian's school board election coverage; for complete coverage, click here.
Years in Columbia: First came in 1980, moved back in 1996.
Occupation: Freelance media producer.
Education: General studies degree from Columbia College in 1987.
Personal ties to the district: Cone has a son at Russell Elementary School and daughter at Smithton Middle School. His wife graduated from Hickman High School and works for Rock Bridge High School. He served on the redistricting committee and intermediate curriculum committee; PTA member since 2004; classroom volunteer.
Community involvement: Member of Parkade Baptist Church, Columbia Public School District committees and classroom volunteer, member of his neighborhood association before moving, former member of Boone Regional Beekeepers Association, member of Columbia Police Department Citizen’s Academy
Political experience: No prior political experience.
Reason for running: "The primary job of the board is to set policy, employ the superintendent and clarify purpose. That's the primary function of the board. My reason for running is to help monitor district performance. I want to represent my community on the board, assure that our students are receiving the best learning environment to succeed. For a self-serving reason, I want people in Columbia to be smart people. I want educated people of all ages around me. Part of what the board does is set policy and clarify purpose. I think I can help with that. Everyone who runs and everyone who works for the district is really working in the kids' best interest. I have no agenda or single issue that I'm fighting or holding up. I want our district to be the best in the state."
Most important thing to contribute: "I really believe in transparency in the process. I want to represent the community so we have transparency, so everyone feels like their tax dollars, their kids, their voice is being heard. If people feel there's transparency, they'll feel decisions that are being made are good. People say I'm a level-headed guy. It's that notion of the truth will win out. As long as you can see where it's going and what it's doing, you might not like it, but you can see why it's necessary."
**No. 1 challenge facing the district: Cone said he thinks the biggest challenges are reducing the number of trailers used in the district and making sure the district can financially support early childhood programs such as Parents-As-Teachers.
Something interesting: "I've lived in Africa. I collect pennants. At one point, I lived in South Africa when apartheid was still there. I've traveled all around the world."
Read more about Cone in his own words