Tan to apply for school board's open seat

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 3:30 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Michael Tan said input from his supporters and friends has given him motivation to apply for an open seat on the Columbia School Board.

Tan ran for one of two open seats on the board in the April 3 election, losing to incumbent Karla DeSpain and newcomer Jan Mees. On election night, he said he would not apply for the additional open seat on the board because he had tried his best.

However, because of what Tan described as many e-mails and telephone calls from his supporters, he has changed his mind and said he will apply.

“My phone’s been ringing off the hook,” said Tan, who teaches education at William Woods University in Fulton. “The support has been overwhelming.”

The school board has an open seat after approving Don Ludwig’s resignation at Monday night’s meeting. Ludwig is stepping down because his wife, Sally Beth Lyon, was named assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction. He said he wants to avoid conflicts of interest on the board.

The position will be advertised, and applicants will be interviewed in an open session. A successor will likely be appointed in May and will serve until the term expires in 2008.

Tan, who also ran for the board in 2006, said he hopes the votes he received in last week’s election will set him apart from other applicants because the board can see the support he has in the community. He received 29.9 percent of the vote.

“I hope the votes I got will give me an advantage,” Tan said. “I don’t want to disappoint the 8,000 people that voted for me.”

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