Incumbent Kristi Baker and newcomer Joe Duncan were sworn in to their positions Monday on the Magnolia ISD School Board, as Superintendent Todd Stephens paid homage to outgoing nine-year trustee Charlie Riley.
Baker was re-elected to Position 4 on the MISD board May 10 with 2,575 votes, totaling about 72 percent of the ballots cast. Her opponent, Ginger Russell, received an estimated 28 percent of the vote and racked up 1,021 total ballots. Duncan ran unopposed for Position 5 and received 2,719 votes, electing him to Riley's former seat.
Stephens presented Riley, who was wiping away tears, with a commemorative plaque and a sample school board ring to be made in his honor. Riley is a candidate in the runoff race for the Republican nomination for Montgomery County Precinct 2 commissioner. As his outgoing action, Riley announced the board's decision to raise the salary of every MISD employee by 3 percent for the upcoming year.
MISD Board President Deborah Rose Miller said this is the first time in recent history the board has been able to grant a minimum salary increase before summer begins.
Baker praised the district's "financial prowess" for properly maintaining the budget and leaving extra money for the pay raise. Baker said she is focused on celebrating the accomplishments of the district's students during the past school year and will dive into planning next year's budget this summer.
"We're a great community who thinks for themselves," Baker said. "[I will] put in the time and effort to make sure our kids are taken care of. I promise I won't let y'all down."
Duncan thanked the voters for electing him to office and said he plans to further MISD's legacy as "the best school district in the state of Texas."
The board will reconvene for its next meeting in June.