HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Perseverance has paid off for one of seven candidates who applied to fill the Hannibal Board of Education vacancy left by Terry Sampson in early October.
Four of six board members voted to elect Ryan Rapp during a special meeting Wednesday.
Rapp ran unsuccessfully for a School Board position during the April election, and board members David Jackson, Mark Bross, Michael Holliday and Linda Clark agreed that seeing his return as a candidate that evening is what differentiated Rapp from the six other candidates.
"It's been a long road, but what a group of candidates in there," Rapp said after being sworn in. "I knew almost all of those candidates, and when I walked in, my heart was overwhelmed. It's amazing to see that people are stepping up and taking pride in the community and supporting the school district."
Rapp is vice president of Commerce Bank in Hannibal and is a member of several organizations in the city, including the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce, Hannibal Early Bird Kiwanis and Hannibal Industrial Development Corp., among others. He has two children enrolled in the school district.
"I have a lot of motivation to help and give back," Rapp said, explaining his motivation to serve on the School Board. He added that he sees education as shaping the future, and he wants to be involved in and support it.
Rapp will serve on the board until April, at which time he can run as a candidate in the municipal election to retain his position.
"I hope all of those candidates run come this next election," he said.
School Board President Jackson said the decision to select a singular candidate out of the seven was difficult.
"I am humbled and honored to see so many candidates here today," he said. "I feel sorry for us because this decision was so hard. Each candidate was well qualified for the position."
The other six who applied were Kathy Asbury, Laura Locke Routh, Steven Carroll, Tom Pfeifer, John Ryan Bareis and Joseph Pettit.