In a packed Carroll County Public Schools board room, three people stood at the front, each taking a turn to raise their right hand.
The three newest Board of Education members — Tara Battaglia, Patricia Ann Dorsey and Ken Kiler — each took about one minute to recite their oath, swearing them into the school board for the next four years.
As each finished, the room broke out in applause.
Superintendent Steve Lockard welcomed the friends, families and supporters of the new members, thanking them for their support over the last few months. But, Lockard said, that was only the beginning.
“We’ll still need that moving forward as we have lots of important work to do,” he said, later adding, “We’re excited to bring these outstanding folks on board with us.”
For each of the candidates, Tuesday’s swearing in brought nervousness, excitement, the gamut of emotions.
“I’m extremely excited and I am really looking forward to what I can bring to the new board,” Battaglia said.
And while she had been a bit nervous, Battaglia said after the swearing in she was feeling good and ready to get started.
Battaglia said she is heading into the position hoping to focus on some of her campaign issues, like keeping communities together and making sure students are in the best environment they can be.
“I’m looking forward to the next four years,” she added.
Kiler echoed Battaglia’s thoughts, and said he was feeling great. He said getting on the board was a long-term goal he finally met, though said it felt a little transcendental.
Kiler said he was ready to get working, and wanted to focus on being transparent, being fiscally conservative and making opportunities for students.
“I think this is going to be fun, but it’s not going to be easy, and I’m anxious to get into it,” he said.
Dorsey, too, said she was excited to get started in the position.
“I really want to do what’s best for our school system, for our students of Carroll County,” she said.
Dorsey said she hopes to accomplish the items she ran on, like teacher salary and fair compensation, as well as recruiting and retaining strong educators and working to diversify staff.
“These aren’t brand-new items, because they’re certainly some that the board has held in the past as well, but again, I’m certainly interested in working hard to make sure that we not lose sight of those big pieces.”
While the new school board won’t officially be seated until the Dec. 12 school board meeting, they will get right to work with a budget work session scheduled for 4 p.m. today, something Lockard commented on Tuesday.
“The work starts tomorrow,” he told them.