By SUMMER BALLENTINE, Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday appointed a local school board president and a former technical college president to the state’s once-embattled K-12 education board, bringing it close to fully staffed.
Seven of eight seats on the State Board of Education now are filled, a step forward after a standoff between former Gov. Eric Greitens and lawmakers left the board without enough members to meet for months earlier this year. Parson has appointed four board members since Greitens resigned amid scandal in June, allowing the panel to resume work.
The latest appointees are Raymore resident Kim Bailey, a Republican, and Linn resident Don Claycomb, an independent.
Bailey is president of the Raymore Peculiar School Board and an adjunct professor in the counseling department at Calvary University, a Christian school. She has also led a local homeschooling organization. Claycomb retired as president of the State Technical College of Missouri in 2016.
Both appointees need state Senate confirmation, and a vote could come soon. A top senator wrote in an email to colleagues Thursday that an expected special session in September will include work reviewing gubernatorial appointees.
Parson also on Thursday named two farm friendly members to the Clean Water Commission, the state board that oversees water pollution. Parson reappointed Pat Thomas and named Allen Rowland to the commission.
Thomas is the chief of staff for farmer and Republican state Sen. Brian Munzlinger, as well as a secretary of the Missouri Republican Party State Committee. Rowland is a retired farmer and previously served on the Missouri Farm Bureau’s board of directors.
Parson on Thursday picked former GOP state Sen. Gary Nodler of Joplin and Urban League of Greater Kansas City President and CEO Gwendolyn Grant for the state Coordinating Board for Higher Education.