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New School Board Member Chosen

***UPDATE 7:30 P.M.***The Columbia School Board has chosen Darin Preis to fill Paul Cushing’s vacant seat on the board.Preis previously served on the board and is currently the executive director of Central Missouri Community Action.***ORIGINAL STORY***Columbia Public Schools leaders are scrambling to fill an open seat on the school board during a crucial time for the district.Officials are holding a meeting Tuesday night to choose a replacement after its newest member, Paul Cushing, unexpectedly resigned. Whoever officials choose will serve until the next election in April.Eight candidates will be interviewed during the open meeting and will get a chance to make a pitch about why they deserve the job. Two of the candidates have run for the board before and one of them served as a member a few years ago.The school board president says having experience may give a candidate an edge, but it is all fair game at this point.”I always look for someone who doesn’t necessarily have a personal single agenda that they’re trying to achieve,” said Dr. Tom Rose. “Because a lot of what we have to decide upon, there will be pros and cons of the issues, and we have to look for what’s the greater good for the district as a whole. So I look for somebody that shows that they can do that.”According to officials, the school is looking for a candidate who is well-rounded and can meet the upcoming challenges the district will face. Columbia Public Schools will be transitioning to four-year high schools and building more facilities. A decision is expected after 8 p.m. Tuesday. The new school board member will be sworn in November 12th.

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