Erica Cokley’s 2020 election victory that sent her to the Charleston County School Board came as a surprise to her from the start, she said. She didn’t expect to get many votes, but she went for it because she said something different needed to be done on the board.
“It’s completely new territory, so it’s been a learning process and it still is,” Cokley said. “Learning what to say, what not to say, when to say it and who to say it to — it definitely opened my eyes to a lot of new things. The most important thing would be the power of voice. People think our votes don’t matter, but the power of the voice really matters, especially when you think locally.
And capping his first year on the board with a Best Of award is just the icing on the cake.
“I’m completely honoured, extremely honoured,” she said. “That’s all I can really say because coming in was just a lot of questions – my qualifications, my reasons, my platform – so after all, I’m extremely grateful.”
She said she hopes her experience and recent victory will encourage other parents to apply for school board positions, which she believes is important. “There aren’t a lot of people with kids running for school board positions,” she said. Whether it’s the schedule, meetings, other responsibilities or any other obstacle that keeps parents away, she hopes she can encourage them to make it worthwhile.