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The Springfield chamber is endorsing two of the five SPS Board of Education candidates slated to appear on the April 5 ballot.
SBJ file
The Springfield chamber is endorsing two of the five SPS Board of Education candidates slated to appear on the April 5 ballot.

Chamber endorses 2 SPS board candidates

Posted online

The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted to endorse two candidates for the Springfield Public Schools Board of Education.

Attorney Chad Courtney and Drury University faculty member Charles Taylor got the nods, according to a news release. They'll be on the April 5 ballot along with property developer Kelly Byrne, Rapid Robert’s Inc. executive Steve Makoski and FosterAdopt Connect leader Brandi VanAntwerp.

"This is the state's largest school district and highly complex in its operations. Board of Education members must be prepared to lead on day one," said Elizabeth Wente, an attorney and chair of the chamber school board endorsement task force, in the release. "The defining factors in our recommendation centered around who has a proven track record in board-related leadership and evaluating who is the best equipped to lead the district."  

Courtney is partner of Springfield family law firm Courtney & Mills LLC. His civic work has included the Springfield Ballet, University of Missouri Extension Council and the Missouri Bar Association.

Taylor is a professor of communication and director of Drury's communication master's program. He's currently serving a term on the SPS Board of Education, and he has been on the Missouri School Boards' Association Board of Directors and The New American Colleges and Universities Board of Directors, according to the release. Taylor is the only incumbent in the election, as Alina Lehnert decided not to run again.

The chamber has been endorsing SPS Board of Education candidates since 1999.

Last year, it endorsed Scott Crise, Danielle Kincaid and Jill Patterson. Crise and Kincaid both were elected to the board, according to past reporting.

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