Paul Harper

For Columbia School Board

Working together for a better and brighter future
My goal is to work together to create caring policies that protect students, employees, and work to ensure that all students have the opportunity to meet or exceed their educational goals.

Campaign Updates

CMNEA Endorsement

I am proud to have earned the teachers' endorsement. As a candidate, I want to work with all stakeholders to ensure a better and brighter future for the district. We need to work so that our children have the opportunity to meet or exceed their educational goals. We cannot do that without our teachers. Our […]

Parents as Partners

“Sweeping change isn’t possible without active parent support.  This support will need to be earned though dialog and welcoming into the reform effort.  The only an only smart process decision I made as superintendent was reaching out to parents of students with special needs and inviting them to be parents for progress.  They, better than […]

Transparency Builds Trust: Online Accountability Portal

Another way that school districts can be more accountable is to put their expenditures online in an easily accessed, searchable form.  I believe that permitting the public to view the inner financial workings of a school district helps build trust between the district and the community.  Across the state and the nation, many school districts […]
1 2 3

About Me

I am the father of two daughters. My older daughter graduated from Rockbridge High School in 2020. My younger daughter is currently a senior at Rockbridge High School and will graduate in 2023.

I believe in good government. All school boards should be run based on sound principles and be transparent and accountable to the people. The people of the district, including teachers and parents, should have a legitimate say in how the district is run. I believe that I can help raise their voices to be heard.

I believe in public service. I have devoted most of my adult life to public service. I believe that those experiences make me a good fit for the school board.
From June 2015 to October 2022, I was the general counsel for Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway.  I reviewed all audits before they were released and worked with the State Auditor’s Office to investigate and audit schools and other local political subdivisions. 

I am currently a legal counsel for the Office of Childhood in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

I have just spent the last 7 1/2 years ensuring transparency and accountability of state and local political subdivisions, and would like to put that experience to work serving Columbia Public Schools.
I will strive to work with others to create caring policies and protect students and employees, and work to ensure that all students have the opportunity to meet or exceed their educational goals.

Before going to law school, I taught in the Jefferson City Public School District as a special education teacher for two years in the middle school. Before teaching, I worked with youth in group home settings. Also, I spent the 1993-94 school year substitute teaching in the St. Louis area, predominantly in the Francis Howell District.

Other work experience includes: 
     Legislative Director, Missouri Department of Revenue
     Deputy General Counsel of the Taxation Division, Missouri Department of Revenue
     Assistant Attorney General, Attorney General’s Office

What I am about?


becoming a competitive employer


meeting children where they are rather than where we expect them to be


we need better communication and our budgets should reflect our priorities

People Come First

Our district has great teachers. Our focus should be in providing teachers with the policies and resources that aid them in ensuring student success. I will work to ensure that teachers have these resources, and will work to reduce bureaucratic impediments to successful learning. As the fifth largest district in Missouri, we need to be a competitive employer not just regionally but statewide.

Student Focus

Public education must prepare our children for success. And all students deserve a chance to succeed. I will work on ensuring that our school district has the resources and policies to ensure that all students in the district can thrive.

Accountability & Transparency

All government entities belong to the people and should remember that they are accountable to the community. I will prioritize transparency and fiscal responsibility in our school district.
Paid for by Vote Paul Harper | Samantha Green, Treasurer
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram Skip to content