LAKE PLACID - Martha Stahl was the third-place vote getter in last week's school board election, but she was first to join the board.
The Wilmington resident was sworn in immediately Tuesday, May 22 to fill an unexpired term.
Stahl beat incumbent Joan Hallett Valentine and will serve for the next two years. Mary Dietrich and Patricia Gallagher received the most votes and therefore earned complete three-year terms. They will be sworn in at the organizational meeting in July, replacing Cathy Johnston and Jill Cardinale Segger, who decided not to run for re-election.
Stahl didn't hesitate to jump into the mix during the meeting. She asked when board members could see results from an exit survey taken during last Tuesday's budget vote. Board President Phil Baumbach said the results were given to an independent party to tally. Then they will be reviewed by the district's executive team and be presented to the board.
"I am looking forward to working as part of this team," Stahl said. "I think that having three new members will have an impact on the dynamics of the board and on the relationship between the board and all the stakeholders."
Stahl said she is grateful to voters for giving her an opportunity to serve. She said she's been "absolutely astounded" by the dedication to the school community shown by faculty, staff, parents, students and board members - both current and past.
Baumbach thanked Valentine for serving on the board. She had been appointed last August after Camelia Sheridan stepped down shortly after being elected last year, citing family reasons.
Valentine was in the audience for Tuesday night's meeting.
"I plan on attending meetings," she said. "I plan to run next year - I hope to anyway. It depends on who is up for re-election and who is seeking re-election. There are some board members who are worth keeping."
Janet Smith and Jerry Blair are up for re-election next year.
The board also voted unanimously Tuesday, May 22 to approve the budget vote results: 524-301 in favor.