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Parson appoints two to re-activate state board of education

(Missourinet) Missouri Governor Mike Parson has appointed today two members to the state Board of Education – making the panel operational once again. Three board seats remain open but having five appointed members allows the group to take action.

Peter Herschend

Parson has appointed Peter Herschend of Branson and Carol Hallquist of Kansas City to serve.

Herschend is a former board member who served for 26 years, including as president for a period. He is the founder and co-owner of Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation which owns Silver Dollar City.

Hallquist is the founder of PrincipalsConnect. The Kansas City nonprofit provides volunteers to urban schools by matching retired professionals with school principals. She is the former president of the Hallmark Corporate Foundation of Hallmark Cards.

One of the next major orders of business for the board will be to launch a search for a new Commissioner of Education. Roger Dorson has been serving as the interim head since Margie Vandeven was terminated on December 1. Dorson has no interest staying in the position on a permanent basis.

The group’s work came to a screeching halt after former Governor Eric Greitens developed a plan last year to find candidates who would vote in favor of firing Vandeven. If they had a change of heart, Greitens replaced the appointees.

Carol Hallquist

The tactics were carried out while the legislature was not in session – frustrating many legislators who said Greitens dodged the Senate’s role of confirming appointments. The chamber responded back by letting the candidate names ride off into the sunset.

Meanwhile, the board has a meeting scheduled for Thursday. The agenda includes an update on the search for the next Commissioner, renewal consideration for several charter schools and discussion about the development of MSIP 6 – the state’s school accountability system for reviewing and accrediting Missouri’s public school districts.

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