Parson appoints two members to State Board of Education

Missouri Governor Mike Parson on Tuesday appointed two members to the State Board of Education. (MGN Online)

Missouri's new governor made two appointments to fill vacancies on the state's Board of Education.

Gov. Mike Parson selected Carol Hallquist and Peter Herschend to the education board Tuesday morning.

"We owe it to our students to provide the best, high quality public education in Missouri,” Parson said in a release. “It was important to act quickly to restore and provide functionality to the State Board of Education. We expect the Board will begin conducting a diligent national search, to find a capable, qualified candidate to serve as Missouri’s Commissioner of Education.”

Hallquist is the founder of PrincipalsConnect, a nonprofit organization that matches retired business professionals with urban school principals, and she retired as president of the Hallmark Corporate Foundation at Hallmark Cards, Inc. in 2016, the release stated.

Herschend, is a co-founder and co-owner of Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation, formerly Silver Dollar City, Inc., and he served as executive vice president of the organization for 20 years and then as vice chairman of the board until his retirement in 2006. He served three terms on the State Board of Education, including four two-year terms as president.

“We thank Governor Parson for placing such a high priority on appointments to the State Board of Educatio," said Melissa Randol, the Executive Director of the Missouri School Boards’ Association. "The extraordinary experience of the two appointees will enable the State Board to resume its responsibilities quickly. We look forward to working with the State Board on policy issues that will have a positive impact on the education being provided to Missouri’s 900,000 public school students.”

Former Gov. Eric Greitens had stacked the board with members willing to fire the education commissioner, Margie Vandeven. The effort was successful, but the move angered lawmakers who later refused to confirm Greitens' appointments, leaving the board without a quorum since January.

The school board will hold a meeting Thursday. For meeting agenda and information, click here.

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