She won't officially start until July, but newly-elected Huntington School Board member Jen Hebert is already excited about the possibilities of serving.
With 1,677 votes in Tuesday's election, Hebert received more votes than any of the four other candidates in the Huntington race — 21 more than Adam Spector, also elected to the board.
"I'm thrilled at the results, honored by the support of so many people in the community and anxious to get started," said Hebert Wednesday.
Now gearing up for her first term after an impressive run, she said the election process was time consuming, sometimes exhausting and intense; but rewarding.
"I really enjoyed meeting so many people from the community that I wouldn't have met otherwise," she said.
With further education cuts expected from Albany next year and costs rising locally for schools, the honeymoon might soon be over for Hebert when her term begins, but she is "definitely ready" for the challenge.
A 13-year Huntington resident, Hebert is a part-time preschool teacher and a past PTA president. Like Spector, she favors the reopening , closed by the board last summer by a 4-3 vote. Hebert said the people have spoken regarding the controversial issue and want change.
"You can tell from the election results that a majority of people would like to see us reopen Jack Abrams and I would definitely would like to see our board work together in that direction," Hebert said.
One of the first things she will explore as a first-time board member is the possibility of getting a referendum passed regarding transportation costs.
"I really think that we can save some money there. Money saved can be put back into programs and teachers," said Hebert. "Of course that kind of decision would be made amongst the seven members."
Getting along with others is apparently one of her strengths.
"I pride myself on being a person who works really well with other people. I'm anxious to get up there and work with the other six."
Asked how a school board election could bring so much intensity, she said it's because of the serious concerns facing the district.
"The problems are really complicated and there are no simple solutions," she said. "I really thought that given the opportunity I could help."
According to Hebert, the tone of the board is about to improve with the addition of herself and Spector.
"I have no doubt in my mind that those things are going to change, actually," she said.
Hebert was pleased with Spector's election victory. She said they have crossed paths on the sidelines at youth soccer games and in volunteer work situations through the years.
"It's going to be a pleasure working with Adam," she said.
Spector and Hebert will begin their terms on the board at the first school board meeting in July.