Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen said in remarks after taking the oath of office Jan. 4, 2021: “As a former legislator, I am confident the Montana legislature will join me in putting our Montana students first in all their endeavors.” (Keila Szpaller/The Daily Montanan.)
Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen took her oath of office outdoors Monday in front of the Montana Capitol.
“I am honored to continue the great work of putting Montana students and families first through my Montana initiatives of ‘Hope, Teach, Learn, and Ready,’” said Arntzen in a prepared statement she provided in advance of the ceremony. “I look forward to working with the newly elected Land Board to ensure our public lands serve our Montana students.
“As a former legislator, I am confident the Montana legislature will join me in putting our Montana students first in all their endeavors. It is with humility and great joy that I take the oath of office for my second term as state superintendent.”
In the email announcing the event, Arntzen noted she is the first Republican re-elected to the office for a second term in 28 years. Judge Mary Jane Knisely of Yellowstone County District Court administered the oath.
Prior to the ceremony, OPI Chief of Staff Sarah Swanson walked the perimeter of the crowd and asked people to spread apart and maintain social distance. Shortly before the affair began, roughly 30 people gathered around the podium including supporters of the superintendent and members of the media.
As part of the brief event, Pastor Steve Bostrom of Helena prayed for the superintendent, children and families. “We remember Peter when he wrote, ‘You were continually straying like sheep, but now you’ve returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls,’” Bostrom said. “ … This word guardian is also translated, ‘superintendent.’”
He prayed that children be granted “agile and inquisitive minds as they come to learn and care for all creation,” and that teachers be granted “the shepherd’s deep love for all truth.”
After the ceremony, Arntzen planned to head to Boulder to serve students lunch. She also planned to hold a virtual panel in the afternoon on safely reopening schools.
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