New school board could change direction of Charleston County public education

VIDEO: New school board could change direction of Charleston County public education

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County School Board now has some new faces. The new school board could change the direction of public education in Charleston County.

On Monday, the five all-female board members were sworn in during a school board meeting.

Courtney Waters and Kristen French were able to take the Charleston North Area’s two open seats, while Lauren Herterich was elected to represent downtown Charleston. Helen Frazier and Erica Coakley will represent West Ashley.

Many of the new board members said they were excited to start working with the community and each other.

Some of them talked about the goals and priorities they hope to accomplish during their time on the school board.

“I’m really hoping that we hit the ground running. We have 24 months of all of us, so it’s really a unique time for the school board because all 9 positions will be open for re-election in 2022,” Herterich said. “I’m really looking forward to working with everyone, working with the community, creating more transparency with the district, and really pushing for quality education for all students over the next 24 months.”

“I’m very passionate about where we’re going," Frazier said. “I think there is much to do in the community and getting the parents involved, getting our community involved in making Charleston County more inclusive and the best school district that it’s supposed to be.”

French said she wanted to make sure the superintendent is being held accountable with certain things, and that neighborhood schools are getting the resources they need.

During the board meeting, Superintendent Dr. Gerrita Postlewait gave the board a 2-week update about COVID-19 numbers. The district uses three factors to determine the level of activity within the county.

Postlewait said that although COVID-19 incidents were slightly increasing, the district remains in the “medium” risk category.

French says she has concerns about what this means going into the holidays, especially when thousands of students have already gone back to school.

“I think we’re in a situation with COVID where we need to be paying close attention to how things are changing quickly and be ready to take action,” French said. “It’s a public health issue that concerns me and I really want the school district, I can’t speak as one person to make this change, but I want all of us to be well-informed and understand why it’s so important for the decisions we made every day.”

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