Columbia Board of Education election winners Della Streaty-Wilhoit and Blake Willoughby were sworn into their positions on the board Monday night, after a handful of months campaigning and one victorious night celebrating.
Streaty-Wilhoit and Willoughby are replacing retiring members James Whitt and Jan Mees, who stepped down from their positions Monday. Whitt and Mees both acknowledged they experienced a learning curve when first placed on the board and had some advice for the incoming members.
Streaty-Wilhoit and Willoughby said they’re taking advice from board members and they’re sticking to their campaign priorities. For Streaty-Wilhoit, that’s increasing communication, building trust and encouraging students to participate in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). For Willoughby, that includes increasing mental health resources in school and creating a board of students under the school board.