Adam Burks Headshot

Adam Burks is running for School Board for Columbia Public Schools in the April 5 election.

Adam Burks will run for Columbia School Board in the April 5 election.

Two of the seven seats on the board will be open, including those of Blake Willoughby and Della Streaty-Wilhoit. Willoughby will seek reelection, the Missourian previously reported.

Burks has a background in public safety and is a safety facilities manager at Midway USA. He is also a volunteer with the Boone County Fire Protection District at Station 13. He and his wife, Melody, have four kids, all of whom attend Columbia Public Schools.

Burks said he values an open dialogue between the board and the district’s parents and said transparency will be his top priority.

“I’m running because I want to serve my community,” he said. “I want to make sure that the voices are heard and that we listen to everyone that’s a part of the district.”

He’s lived in the area his whole life, earning a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College and a master’s degree from William Woods University, both in business administration.

With the Fire District, he’s learned to take care of “Mrs. Smith,” the name the fire department uses for tax-paying citizens of Columbia.

“We always serve Mrs. Smith, no matter the circumstances,” he said. “I think using this approach as a Board of Education member would only help improve the relationship between families and the district by really making us an outstanding educational institution.”

Candidate filing for the upcoming School Board election ended Tuesday. Burks is one of five candidates running in April. The others are Suzette Waters, John Criswell, Andrea Lisenby and Willoughby.

  • General assignment reporter, winter 2021 Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

  • Assistant city editor, spring 2021. Studying print and digital news journalism. Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5720.

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