At Murray Hill Middle, Scott said having the support of both Howard and Prince's George's county executives, Ken Ulman and Rushern Baker, as well as County Council members Calvin Ball and Courtney Watson is humbling.

"I am so deeply appreciative of people who have supported me by encouraging me and providing advice and guidance," Scott said. "That they think enough of me to lend their help is heartwarming."

At Lisbon Elementary, Ballinger too said he was happy with the turnout, and grateful for the support of his friends throughout the campaign. He said he too felt good about his chances.

"People are looking for positive hope and change on the board, and I bring a bold vision, clear leadership and a passion for our children and giving them the best education possible," said Ballinger, who has run for the board twice before. "I have a firm sense of fiscal responsibility, so people can know we're spending their money correctly. ... (Voters) want someone who will listen to them."

Gertler, at Clarksville Middle, said people want a school board that includes "cooperation, collaboration, and people open to hearing the issues and working intelligently to solve the issues."

Gertler has run for the board before, in 2010. This time, he said he felt more well-informed about the issues, likely because of the various ballot questions, and were "doing their homework."

Gertler said he was running for the board to give back to the community.

"If you look at the challenges and opportunities we face for our kids, I have the right skills and expertise we need at this time to excel when we're looking at redistricting, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) awareness, and infusing technology into the future of education," Gertler said.

At Swansfield Elementary, De Lacy said she felt her chances were "as good as anyone's."

"(I have a) deep understanding of public education, specifically Howard County education," De Lacy said. "That perspective would serve the children well. ... People are surprised when they realize I'm the only teacher on the ballot. I worked for a long period of my career in a school where student were identified as socio-economically challenged, and I can deal with diverse children — ethnically, socioeconomically. For me, it transcends race and (political) party."

Also at Swansfield, Siddiqui said she was pleased with voter turnout, and happy with the positive response she had gotten from people at the polls. 

But she said she was not taking anything for granted.

"I think for the most part, people are satisfied with the education their children are getting," Siddiqui said. "But that's not to say more can't be done for their children. ... I think (voters) are looking for people who create a good balance on the board, who are advocating for their children, and that's what I do every day: I advocate for children."

Those six — Ballinger, De Lacy, Gertler, Giles, Scott and Siddiqui — were whittled down from an original field of 14 candidates in the April primary. During the primary, Siddiqui led the candidates, garnering 11,732 votes — f40 percent more thanDe Lacy, who earned the second-highest at 8,415. The votes ebbed down from there: Giles came in third with 7,612, followed by Scott with 7,326, Gertler with 7,286, and Ballinger with 6,232.

The primary field also included former board member Patricia Gordon, who retired in 2010, and board member Allen Dyer, who came in eighth place, falling short in his bid for a second term on the board.

Dyer has a long, contentious history with the board, either suing the body or representing people involved in litigation against it several times before his term began in 2008. His legal actions continued even while he was serving on the board, as he fought for greater transparency and protection of records. Ethics complaints were filed against him in 2010, but those charges were quietly dismissed in spring 2011.

Often at odds with Dyer, the board voted in June 2011 to request the Maryland State Board of Education remove him from his seat. That process has stretched out to over a year, as the case went before an administrative law judge, who has yet to make a recommendation to the state board. Such a recommendation, and a decision, is unlikely to be made before Dyer’s term ends in December.