JEFFERSON CITY • Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday appointed two new members to the state's Board of Education, which was hobbled and unable to meet under Parson's predecessor, former Gov. Eric Greitens.
Parson named Kim Bailey of Raymore and Don Claycomb of Linn to the panel, which oversees K-12 education.
According to a news release, Bailey holds a bachelor's in psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She earned a master's degree in marriage and family therapy from Friends University.
Bailey, a Republican, is a licensed therapist and adjunct professor who has served on the Raymore Peculiar School Board and on the Raymore Home Educators Association, according to the release.
Claycomb, an independent, earned a Ph.D. in education and a bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has a master's in education from Northwest Missouri State University, according to the release.
With the two nominations, the board now has seven of eight seats filled.
Greitens, a Republican, stirred controversy in December when allies he had appointed to the board voted to oust popular Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven.
Greitens withdrew and then resubmitted his five controversial nominations in January, allowing the Missouri Senate all spring to consider the nominations. Senators did not approve any of them.
Because the nominations were in limbo, the board did not have enough members to meet and was unable to consider Vandeven’s replacement. A short-lived search yielded 10 applications, but the applicants were told after they applied that the search was put on hold, Board President Charlie Shields said.
Now, interim Commissioner Roger Dorson is leading the department. Shields said he had brought a “calming presence” to the department and educators. He said Dorson possessed valuable knowledge of the way district finances work and had earned the respect of senior staff.
Shields has said the board would debate in September whether to launch another search for Vandeven's replacement.
Parson on Thursday also made six other appointments. Among the appointments: he named two Republicans to the state's Clean Water Commission.
Republican Patricia Thomas, treasurer for the state party, was already on the panel but was serving an expired term. Parson reappointed her. He also named Allen Rowland, a Republican from Dexter, to the commission.
Missouri’s Clean Water Commission now has a majority of farm-friendly members as it considers granting permits to large factory farms.
With Rowland's appointment, the commission now has four Republicans, two Democrats and one independent, John Benton Hurst of Kansas City.
Though Hurst is listed as an independent, he works for the Graves Garrett Law Firm in Kansas City, which often represents Republicans and Republican interests.
State law forbids any more than four members of the same party from serving on the seven-member panel.