After the deadline for candidates to file for the April 4 Columbia Board of Education election, there are seven names on the list.
Not among them are current Board of Education President David Seamon or former State Rep. Chuck Basye, with Basye’s candidacy still in question.
The most recent candidates to file are April Ferrao, John Lyman, James Gordon and Dean Klempke Jr.
Ferrao previously updated COVID case information for the city and county health department. Currently unemployed, she also previously worked in real estate.
She has volunteered for many years in district schools and currently is the Hickman High School Parent-Teacher-Student Association president.
“This has been my life,” Ferrao said. “My focus has been on the schools.”
She has spent many years becoming familiar with the school district’s inner workings, she said. If elected, she said she will focus on improving student achievement and using the district’s resources wisely.
Lyman is a loan officer for Veterans United Home Loans. His wife is a school teacher and they have children in elementary, middle and high schools. He also is a 1998 Hickman High School graduate.
There have been divisions over response to COVID and other issues over the past few years, he said.
“I’m ready to kind of bridge that gap and bring everybody back together,” Lyman said.
Klempke taught for 25 years, with 22 in Columbia Public Schools, retiring in May 2022. He taught at Gentry Middle School for 13 years and was on the bargaining team for the teachers’ union for several years. He’s proud of his work to improve working conditions for teachers, he said. He’s a full-time realtor now.
“That passion to be involved in education, it just never goes away,” Klempke said. “That passion for being involved is something that’s always going to be with me.”
Gordon didn’t immediately respond to phone messages and an email.
Previously, Paul Harper, John Potter and Chris Horn had filed for the election.
Harper is an attorney and legal counsel for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Potter works in construction and is a frequent school district critic.
Horn is the only school board incumbent running for re-election. He works in insurance.
Basye attempted to file as a school board candidate on Dec.27, the last day of filing, but he wasn’t allowed in the building to file. He wrote on social media that he instead filed at the Boone County Clerk’s office after seeking guidance from the Attorney General and Secretary of State Offices.
Candidate filings during the district’s winter holiday were by appointment only, according to posted rules. Appointments were required to be scheduled by 4 p.m. Dec. 22.
District spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark on Tuesday said attorneys were still examining the legality of Basye’s candidacy.
Basye didn’t immediately return phone messages Tuesday, but he wrote on social media recently that he was considering his own legal action.
“We will establish the ‘Legality’ in Boone County Circuit Court,” Basye wrote. “Columbia Public Schools and the radical board of education has a proven record of breaking the law and violating the constitutional rights of citizens.”
Roger McKinney is the Tribune’s education reporter. You can reach him at email@example.com or 573-815-1719. He’s on Twitter at @rmckinney9.