Parson makes two Board of Education appointments, restores quorum

Gov. Mike Parson on Tuesday made two appointments to the Missouri Board of Education, which for months has not had enough members to conduct business.

“It was important to act quickly to restore and provide functionality to the State Board of Education,” Parson said in a release. “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.”

Last December, then-Gov. Eric Greitens appointed members who subsequently voted to remove Margie Vandeven, the board’s commissioner at the time. However, when lawmakers returned in January, the Senate refused to confirm Greitens’ recess appointments, leaving the board without a quorum.

One of Parson’s appointees, Peter Herschend, already spent three terms on the board. He was president of the board for four two-year terms. Herschend, who is from Branson, co-founded and co-owns Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation, formerly Silver Dollar City, Inc.

Carol Hallquist is the founder of the nonprofit organization PrincipalsConnect, which connects retired business professionals with urban school principals. She spent 32 years at Hallmark Cards, until her 2016 retirement from her position as president of the Hallmark Corporate Foundation. Hallquist is from Kansas City.

The board now has five members, including Michael Jones and O. Victor Lenz, who is the vice president of the board.

The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday.

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