Voters approved a $20 million bond issue for Columbia Public Schools Tuesday. Overseeing the use of that bond will be the Columbia School Board, to which voters just elected two new members.
The bond is designed to fund a wide range of projects around the school district. According to CPS spokesperson Michelle Baumstark, bond proposals like this allow the district to address growth and accessibility in its growing student body.
“We have several buildings in our community that are 100 plus years old,” said Baumstark. “The reason why we are able to still continue to use them is because we keep them in good repair.”
Baumstark attributes the success of these bonds to the support given by the community. And according to the new members of the school board, community is an important aspect of a successful education.
Two New Board Members
David Seamon, a Marine Corps veteran and graduate of Rock Bridge High School, is one of the newly elected members of the board. Seamon’s father died just before his senior year, and he attributes his successes to the support he received from Rock Bridge. Seamon said he hopes to offer the kind of support to Columbia students that was offered to him.
“(It’s) that idea of inclusiveness,” said Seamon. “Ensuring that we’re focusing on each student and making sure that each individual student has the resources to be successful.”
Chris Horn, the other newly elected member of the board, shared a similar vision. Horn said that he will strive to ensure that students of all socioeconomic classes are able to reap the benefits of Columbia Public Schools.
“My long-term vision is closing the achievement gap,” said Horn. “There’s a lot of moving pieces to make sure that happens.”
Board President Helen Wade won re-election in the 4-way race for 3 seats. Jonathan Sessions, the incumbent vice president of the board, lost by fewer than 700 votes and will not go on to serve another term.
Horn attributed, among other things, Sessions’s exemplary leadership as a point of motivation for his run for the position.