Newly-elected CPS board member outlines goals

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COLUMBIA - A newly elected CPS board member says being hands-on is one of his biggest priorities.

Blake Willoughby said he'll start with the people who are on the ground with students.

"I plan on talking to the principals and assistant principals about organizing times where I can come in during lunch hours so that the teachers can talk to me."

As the youngest school board member ever elected in Columbia, the 25-year-old Willoughby said he hopes to use his youth to relate with students and figure out their needs. 

He said he hopes to work with other board members to create a student-led strategic planning committee.  

"We do say that every decision is about the kids, and right now we really don't have a space to amplify their voice so the board can hear it," Willoughby said. 

He said he will also focus on incorporating arts into STEM programs to ensure students are receiving a well-rounded education. 

Willoughby will be sworn in as a board member on April 8.