THUMBS UP: Numerous recently elected public servants began important new gigs over the past week — from county commissioners to Board of Education members to legislators — but undoubtedly the most noteworthy was Maria Oesterreicher, who became the first female judge of the Circuit Court of Carroll County. “I feel like I’ve come home,” she said during her investiture Friday. Oesterreicher took her oath of office, embraced family members, put on her black robe and took a seat on the bench between Judge Thomas Stansfield and Judge Fred Hecker. The magnitude of the moment was lost on no one. During the ceremony, she quoted Hillary Clinton, the first woman to earn a major party’s nomination for the presidency, who said, “To all the little girls watching ... never doubt that you are valuable and powerful & deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world.” Retired District Court Judge JoAnn Ellinghaus-Jones said: “This represents not just progress for women, but progress for everyone in Carroll County.” Oesterreicher joined the State’s Attorney’s Office in 2001 after three years in private practice. She served as a senior assistant state’s attorney for 14 years before returning to private practice in family and criminal defense law, and working at the Maryland Department of Human Services. Being a judge, she said, “was the next logical step” and it “allowed me to remain in public service, and serve my community and utilize my strengths all at the same time.” We trust she will indeed utilize her strengths as she serves justly while inspiring others.