CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – There’s 5 new faces on the Charleston County School District Board; and all 5 are women. With more than half of the board’s seats flipped, big changes are expected in the upcoming future.
Kristen French and Courtney Waters ousted two longtime members, Reverend Chris Collins and Kevin Hollinshead, for the seats representing North Charleston.
French, a mother of 2, has a background in science and post doctoral training in Community Based Research.
“People don’t want to be told what they need. They want to have people listen and provide what is needed,” she says.
One of her biggest goals is to increase access to quality education for students in all corners of the district.
“The rural areas are feeling neglected, most of the neighborhood schools are being neglected, the arts have been stripped out of these schools, they don’t have enough mental health support for the kids. These are the kinds of things people are so frustrated about,” says French.
She says a number of parents have expressed frustration from not being heard by the district. She’s hoping her new fellow board members will bring a fresh perspective.
“We all really have similar goals about making sure children are educated well. It may be that we just have different ideas on how to get there,” she says.
In addition to French and Waters representing North Charleston, Lauren Herterich will take over a seat serving parents on the peninsula.
Erica Cokley and Helen Frazier won their seats to represent West Ashley, James Island, Johns Island and Ravenel.
French says she is eagerly waiting to get to work.
“I am really jazzed to get to work to be honest. About the middle of last week I was thinking ‘can this campaign be over so we can get some real work done?'” she says.
You can see the results by clicking here.