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Richland Two voters elect new school board members

Just a few days after the State Inspector General described Richland Two's school board 'dysfunctional,' voters elected 4 new school board members on Tuesday.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Just a few days after the State Inspector General described Richland Two's school board 'dysfunctional,' voters elected four new school board members on Tuesday.

As election results were coming in, Tamika Shuler Washington was watching the numbers with her team at her northeast Columbia office. "People were questioning, but once we started the see the numbers go up, it was exciting," Washington said.

Tamika Washington and three others elected Tuesday -- Angela Nash, Niki Porter and Joe Trapp -- are now set to be sworn in as a Richland Two school board members. 

Current board chair, Teresa Holmes finished in 5th place, meaning she won't be returning to the board.

RELATED: 'Dysfunction' and 'misconduct' are two words used to describe Richland Two in Inspector General's audit

Washington spoke to News19 about her plans for the district's future.

"As a small business owner, I would like to see more small business owners in northeast Columbia to be able to do business with Richland Two," Washington said. "We've got to get teachers in the classroom - certified teachers, strong teachers. We have teachers that are going to be retiring in the next couple of years, they're at that point."

The election came just days after the South Carolina Office of State Inspector General (SIG) released its report on an investigation regarding the practices of Richland County School District Two, which found several faults, including how members of the school board work with one another. The audit called the current board 'dysfunctional' and also cited problems with how it dealt with finances and staffing. A copy of the report can be found here.

RELATED: Here's what a months-long investigation in Richland Two found out

Washington said she was upset by the report and said families have told her they were worried about it, too. She said the vision moving forward is to learn from the previous administration's mistakes and be transparent.

"We need to start having more open dialogues with our parents, bringing to the forefront ways we are spending our money so that we can maximize opportunities to continue to see our children grow and thrive."

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