Silver Dollar City's Peter Herschend takes on education in Jefferson City, Mo.

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Local educators say it is a relief: The Missouri Board of Education is finally operating again. Silver Dollar City's Peter Herschend is one of two appointees to the state board making it operational once again.

"The past is just the past. It should not have ever happened, but it did," Herschend said.

Herschend left for Jefferson City Wednesday to attend the first board meeting Thursday after six months of inactivity. The board vacancies have been a source of anxiety for local schools as many local educators have felt shut out of the process.

For his part, Herschend has served on the board before and is looking forward to getting to work.

"You have an opportunity to make a difference in lives from time to time. Not every job that comes your way can make a difference. In my 27 years on the state board, I have watched and been part of the change in what we have required what we have expected of students, expected of teachers, of school districts, of colleges of education of our community," he said.

As for Springfield Public Schools, the state's largest district, a spokesperson said they are grateful for Parson's effort to stabilize the board as well as his willingness to work with local schools.

"Questions are not answered in Jefferson City. They're answered in the field. They have to be," Herschend said.

Carol Hallquist of Kansas City was appointed to serve on the board as well.