Malishai Woodbury

3022 North Glenn Ave
W-S, NC 27105

Initially Elected:
December, 2022

Term Expires:
December, 2026

Malishai "Shai" Woodbury was elected as a county commissioner for District A in 2022, after serving on the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education from 2018-2022, which included three years as chair of the school board.

Commissioner Woodbury is a native of Winston-Salem and currently resides in East Winston. She is the daughter of Arthur Woodbury Sr. and Patricia Switzer, and is the fifth of their six children. She spent her earliest years in Happy Hill Gardens.

After graduating from Carver High in 1992, she attended college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in communications studies and minored in African American history, graduating in 1996. She then attended N.C. A&T State University for her master’s degree in history education. She later earned her doctorate in Education Leadership from Walden University.

Commissioner Woodbury has worked as an educator in public schools and the collegiate level for more than 25 years. Her passion for education led her to run for school board in Forsyth County. She ran in 2010 and 2014 before winning in 2018. She became the first black person to serve as chair of the WS/FC School Board.

She said she's proud of the school board's many accomplishments during her tenure, including the school board's equity policy, the strategic plan for its budgets, its work on the Neighborhood Choice grants, making progress towards building a new Ashley Elementary and raising school employee pay. One of the enduring legacies of the board will be the ¼ cent sales tax for teacher supplements that raised WS/FC School's teacher pay to among the most competitive in the state.

"I am unapologetically devoted to helping educators get the pay and resources they deserve," she said.

Commissioner Woodbury said education is the best investment in a democracy because it leads to a safe and healthy society.

She said didn't seek reelection for the school board to focus on earning her doctorate. After that was completed early, she successful ran for commissioner, following in the steps of one of mentors, the late Walter Marshall, who also served on the school board before becoming a commissioner.

Her focus remains on education with supporting teachers and students in the county.

"I think my passion is very clear around education and the number one budget item for the county commissioners is about education" she said.

Commissioner Woodbury's community involvement includes the NC Caucus of Black School Board Members, NC Social Studies Council, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, President of Winston-Salem branch of the National Association of University Women, the local NAACP branch, and the chair of the board of Triad Cultural Arts.

In her spare time, she likes to read non-fiction. She also likes to watch documentaries, visit museums and watch football, with the Dallas Cowboys as her favorite team.

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