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Crystal Cauley continues to work for positive change as candidate for Henderson County School Board

Even in a community filled with advocates, Crystal Cauley’s involvement in Henderson County stands out. She has spearheaded events, served on boards, worked on campaigns, volunteered for numerous projects, received multiple awards and has plans to start her own nonprofit. Through it all, she keeps her focus on working for positive change.

Now she is taking her involvement further as a candidate for Henderson County School Board.

“I am running for school board to be the change the people desire to see,” she said. “I have been showing up at school board meetings to advocate for the African American Parent Alliance group and to ask to teach Henderson County history in our schools, but I am equally focused on revising and addressing bullying policies and building a stronger literacy program as well as supporting creative arts for all our schools.”

Many people in Henderson County first learned of Crystal when she organized a panel of community leaders to discuss ways to address racism in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and other African Americans across the nation. Her advocacy for Henderson County’s African American community extends well beyond this one event, however, and includes organizing a workshop for educators on healing unconscious bias, creating the Black History Collective of Henderson County, serving on the Hendersonville Historic Preservation Commission, successfully working to have Kwanzaa and Juneteenth recognized, and collaborating on art installations and murals at The People’s Museum in downtown Hendersonville.  

“I’m a community volunteer who desires to help make a change instead of complaining,” Crystal said. To do this, she works to build bridges and foster understanding between different groups, often using creative arts such as spoken word poetry to form connections.

Crystal’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. She has been nominated twice for the local ATHENA award and has also won the Wilma Dykeman Writers of Color Award twice. Last year, she received a Radical Rest grant from the Waymakers Collective, a group that supports Appalachian culture and art.  

A native of Henderson County, Crystal graduated from Hendersonville High School.  She continued her education at Greenville Technical College in South Carolina and has worked as a paralegal and in other jobs over the years.

Crystal has also volunteered and worked as a substitute in Henderson County Public Schools.  “If elected, my mission will be to make our school system No. 1 in the state and to make sure the budget is aligned with the best decisions for the students. I plan to engage with everyone in the county who supports education because every school is a priority for me.”

Crystal has two children—24-year-old Tyrese and 15-year-old Tiara. She enjoys teaching Sunday School and pursuing her hobby of bird watching whenever she gets a chance. 


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