CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Five new members are officially part of the Charleston County School Board. After a brief swearing in ceremony on Monday, the board is already making moves.
The 5 new faces all have backgrounds in education. Kristen French and Courtney Waters will be representing North Charleston.
Erica Cokley and Helen Frazier won their seats to represent West Ashley, James Island, Johns Island and Ravenel. Lastly, Lauren Herterich will take over a seat serving parents on the Peninsula.
Frazier says she worked for CCSD for years and now has a chance to help the community be heard.
“And we have new ideas, new younger people coming in and I think that’s really good and wholesome for the future of this community and for this school district,” she says.
The board took a vote and elected new member Courtney Waters as Vice Chair and longtime member Reverend Eric Mack as Board Chair.
Waters says she is excited for the opportunity to serve as Vice Chair especially during this time.
“Everything that’s happening in the national climate means that people are listening to people of color about how to help people of color…I think it’s a great opportunity for somebody with experience in education and are passionate about diversity, equity and inclusiveness to be serving on the board,” she says.
Right now, the board is facing the challenge of keeping over 50,000 students in 80 different school districts safe from the Coronavirus Pandemic.
New member Lauren Herterich says this is the time for them to focus on staying transparent and keeping community members in the loop.
“I think right now it’s just putting forth information on the COVID rates so parents feel comfortable with their kids being in that in-person setting and if they don’t, they’re in that virtual setting,” she says.
While the board might not always agree on how to get things done, many of the members say they have the same goal: creating the best school district they can for their students.
“We’re gonna have to work together and I’m willing to open up my arms and embrace them, share ideas and move forward,” says Frazier.
To watch the full meeting, click here.