The Hesperia Unified School District's two newest school board members officially joined the board Friday night.


Newly elected board members Chris Bentley and Anthony Riley attended a swearing-in ceremony at the Hesperia Unified School District's headquarters annex building after work Friday night, enabling them to jump right into Monday night's school board meeting as official members of the board.


"This is really a culmination of [the] electoral process tonight," Superintendent Mark McKinney explained to the several dozen people in attendance.


Bentley herded six children up to the front of the room, four of them his own, two of them friends of his son -- "Come on, guys, come on." -- while his wife recorded the moment with a video camera from the back of the room.


"Do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic," McKinney read, right hand raised, "That you will bear true faith and allegiance to the constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of California; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which you are about to enter."


"I will," Bentley replied, his voice catching a little.


And then, in a preview of life in government, came the paperwork.


"This is just the first of many things to sign," McKinney said, sitting down with Bentley and putting a document, in triplicate, before him.


Next came Riley, whose swearing-in was witnessed by his mother Cathy.


During the election, critics accused the pair of being in the pocket of school board president Robert Kirk. But the pair each headed their own direction Friday night, with Riley attending the formal reception inside the HUSD's headquarters, while Bentley broke out soda and pizza for his friends and family in the annex.


"You'd think it would be a much longer process," McKinney said, at the end of the swearing-in ceremony. "Now it's time to do the work."


New school board members Bentley and Riley take up the district's first interim budget report during a time of financial crisis at Monday night's board meeting.


The next meeting of the Hesperia Unified School District school board takes place on Monday, December 8, at 6 p.m. at the HUSD Educational Support Center Annex, 15576 Main Street.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.