College president declines Missouri Board of Education appointment after state law 'oversight'

Updated at 1:03 p.m. with statement from governor’s spokesman

Kansas Christian College President Delbert Scott, one of Gov. Eric Greitens’ recent appointees to the Missouri Board of Education, is declining the board position after learning his college presidency makes him ineligible to be a State Board member under state law.

Greitens announced Monday that he appointed Scott, a Republican and member of the Missouri Charter Public School Commission, to the State Board. Greitens had appointed Scott to replace board member Russell Still.

But state law says that no State Board member “shall be connected, either as an official or as an employee, with any public, private, or denominational school, college or university, nor be the holder of or a candidate for any public office.”

“Since serving on the Missouri State Board of Education conflicts with my position at Kansas Christian College I have decided to withdraw from the state board appointment and continue serving on the Missouri Charter Public School Commission,” Scott wrote in an email. “This will allow me to stay involved in the effort to provide quality schools and meaningful school choice to students across our state.”

Another of Greitens’ appointments also had a connection to a school. Melissa Gelner, chief kinship officer for Askinosie Chocolate and a self-identified independent, was on the board of trustees for The Summit Preparatory School in Springfield, Mo. when Greitens appointed her.

In an email statement, Greitens’ spokesman Parker Briden said the governor’s appointment of Scott “was an oversight that has been corrected.”

Briden also said Gelner is resigning from her school trustee position to take the State Board appointment. 

Greitens had also appointed Eddy Justice, owner and agent of Eddy Justice State Farm Insurance, chairman of the 8th Congressional District Republican Committee and treasurer for the House Republican Campaign Committee.

Two State Board positions are currently open for appointment by Greitens: one for Scott’s vacated position and one for current board member John Martin.

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