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Smith, Reinoso begin terms
School board also honors Mikuta, Ballou High band
(Published January 10, 2005)

Two new members of the D.C. Board of Education took their oaths of office at the school board's monthly meeting on Dec. 16, in anticipation of beginning the four-year terms to which they were elected in November.

Jeff Smith and Victor Reinoso officially began their tenure on Dec. 18 at noon. The part-time school board positions pay $15,000 annually.

"It's honorable to be able to represent this city and these schools," said Smith, after being sworn in by D.C. Superior Court Judge Michael Rankin. "Thank you to all of you who have provided me guidance so far."

Smith, an employee of the D.C. Department of Human Services, replaces District I board member Julie Mikuta in serving Wards 1 and 2. Mikuta opted not to run for a second term.

Reinoso, sworn in by D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Vanessa Ruiz, ousted incumbent Dwight E. Singleton for the District II chair, representing Wards 3 and 4.

"I'm also truly honored to be able to serve the families of the District of Columbia as a member of the school board," said Reinoso, who works for the Federal City Council, a private business group.

Prior to the swearing-in ceremony, the school board presented a resolution honoring the Ballou Senior High School Marching Band, which recently placed second in the national "Battle of the High School Marching Bands" competition and was selected to perform in next month's presidential inaugural parade.

The Marching Knights surprised the audience when they filed into the board room and demonstrated their talent with a rendition of the pop hit "Lose My Breath" by Destiny's Child.

"I'm also honored that the Ballou High School Marching Band was able to parade in our inauguration today before that other inauguration," Reinoso joked.

The school board also presented Mikuta with a small award in recognition of the four years she served as a member. Mikuta, who is employed by the nonprofit Teach for America, decided not to run for re-election because she felt she could better serve D.C. Public Schools by not being on the board.

"I will be working alongside you in just a different capacity," she told her colleagues.
—By Stephanie Brinson

Copyright 2005 The Common Denominator