The Hays CISD board of trustees swore in two members during a May 17 meeting and also appointed new leadership roles.

Will McManus was sworn in for his second term as one of the district's two at-large trustees. He was previously elected in May 2018. Courtney Runkle became the new trustee for District 3, which was vacated by Michael Sánchez.

Runkle and McManus both pointed to the pandemic and its impacts as the biggest hurdles facing the board.

"Our challenges right now are dealing with COVID-19 and learning loss," Runkle said. "I think that that's the biggest thing."

She went on to say special education and Section 504, which provides accommodations for disabled students, would also be among her priorities.

"I want to make a priority of making sure that our kids are where they need to be, and we get them the things that they need," Runkle said.

McManus said school funding and district growth would also be major topics for the board.

"Priority No. 2 is going to be to make sure that we shore up school funding so that we know how much money we have in order to get those things done," McManus said, after listing his first priority as bringing the district out of the pandemic.

He went on to say the board would have to manage its tax base as well, while also accommodating some 1,200 students expected to join HCISD schools in the fall.

In unanimous votes by the board, trustee Vanessa Petrea was chosen to become the board's new president, trustee Raul Vela became its vice president and trustee Meridith Keller became the board secretary.

Trustee Esperanza Orosco was the previous president; McManus is the former vice president; and Petrea was the board's secretary.