Retiree running for school board

Media specialist says her ability to listen would be a strength.
Friday, December 29, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:23 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Citing the importance of education to students and the community, Jan Mees, a media specialist retired from Hickman High School, is running for the Columbia School Board.

Mees, 57, has been active in the Columbia Public School District for more than 25 years as a parent, volunteer, support-staff employee and teacher. She is one of three candidates vying for two seats in the April 3 election. The others are Karla DeSpain, who is the board president, and Michael Tan, an education professor at William Woods University who lost his first bid for the school board this year. J.C. “Chuck” Headley has said he will not run again.

Mees was a library clerk at Fairview Elementary School before earning her master’s degree in library science from MU in 1993. Later, she worked as a media specialist at Russell Boulevard, Grant and Cedar Ridge elementary schools and Lange Middle School.

Mees is a member of the Missouri Retired Teachers Association and was president of the Columbia Community Teachers Association.

Mees, who retired from Hickman in June, said the extra time would help her meet the demands of serving on the board. She said she could bring to the board her “openness to listening to people.”

Mees, who has two sons and was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years, also said she intends to be a strong advocate for Columbia’s children.

Applicants must file paperwork in person at the district’s administration building, 1818 W. Worley St., by 5 p.m. Jan. 16.

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