A top executive with Commerce Bank is the latest to toss her hat into the Columbia School Board race.

Teresa Rouse Maledy, chair and CEO of Commerce Bank’s Central and Eastern Missouri Region, announced her candidacy via email on Tuesday, several hours before the filing deadline for the April 3 election.

With her addition, five people are running for two seats that will open on the seven-member board this spring. The others are: lab technologist Tyler Lero; former Columbia Public Schools educator Susan Blackburn; retired district administrator and principal Ben Tilley and current member Christine King, who is running for re-election. Board President Darin Preis is not seeking another term on the board.

Maledy has worked with the Food Bank of Central & Northeast Missouri, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Stephens College, Regional Economic Development Inc. and United Way. In her news release, Maledy said each of these roles has provided opportunities to gain a range of volunteer experience.

“I’ve worked on issues such as early childhood learning, closing the achievement gap and making sure our children have the skills for college and career,” Maledy said in the release. “Volunteering for the school board would be a way for me to continue working on these issues.”

Maledy is also a mid-Missouri board member for the Alliance for Childhood Education and a founding member of the Cradle to Career Alliance. The latter, a nonprofit organization, works toward reducing educational disparities among children in Boone County, a goal Maledy hopes to emphasize during her term if elected.

“I believe in our public school systems overall and I have a lot of faith in Columbia Public Schools, but I think every school district has certain challenges,” Maledy said. “I would like to work toward three personal goals, including closing the achievement gap across all student demographics, developing sound strategies to attract and retain quality teachers and working toward ensuring the district maintains the confidence, trust and the consistent financial support of the community.”

Maledy grew up attending Columbia Public Schools.

“I’ve been a bee, a panther, a cyclone and a kewpie,” she said in the release, “and now I’m looking forward to the chance to serve the next generation of Columbians as a member of the Board of Education.”

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey: brixeye@missouri.edu, 882-2632.