Dr. Yvette Keel became the newest Liberty County Board of Education member after she was sworn in Tuesday morning.
Her excitement to get started was apparent on her face as she received congratulations from well-wishers. Liberty County Probate Judge Nancy Aspinwall officiated the swearing-in ceremony, while Keel’s husband, John “Bucky” Keel, held the Bible on which she placed her hand.
Keel, a retired educator, won the District 6 seat in a special election in June. She won 140 votes to 65 for opponent Justin McCartney, an accountant for Gulfstream.
For Keel, the ceremony was the culmination of all the support she received while running for the seat.
“Through this whole process, I have been honored at the support and wonderful comments about the school system progressing and people feeling as though I need to be a part of it,” she said.
“It’s the icing on the cake to finally be sworn in and listen to the words of what it truly means to take an oath in office as an elected official and know that the community lies in your hands.”
Keel said she still has some training to do, such knowing what she can and cannot do as a school board member and how the board ultimately fits into the education community. She described herself as an avid reader, which she said will help her with the training and learning process. Keel said she realizes that being an educator is different than serving on the school board.
“Sometimes you have to take a different viewpoint as a school-board member versus being on the inside of a school building. But most people know that I am a fair person, and I try to be as transparent as possible,” she said.
“I want to thank my supporters, those that have been so kind with phone calls, phone calls from people I never expected and cards,” she added. “It truly means so much, and I truly feel so honored that the community — Liberty County — is in support of me and my service to the school board.”
After the ceremony and a short break for breakfast, Keel started her new position as board member. The board held a work-session meeting.