MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — The Jackson County school board held their swearing-in ceremony for two school board members and Superintendent, Steve Benton on Tuesday.

Benton had previously served as the district’s superintendent once from 2012 to 2016.

In 2016, Benton went to work for Liberty County at the K-8 school in Bristol. Benton said as much as he loved his time there, he wanted to serve his home district.

“I wanted to come back and see if I could help and have a little bit more years just to spend with them here and I’ll try to make the best possible education for our kids,” Benton said.

During his campaign, Benton said he thought the district could have handled the pandemic differently and said he has made it one of his goals to reassess the district’s policies that are currently in place.

“COVID is here to stay,” Benton said. “I mean it’s unreal how bad this thing is, I think people have kind of taken it for granted. But we’re going to work a little harder and see the employees and kids take it a lot more serious.”

Benton said during his time in Liberty County, younger students at the K-8 school in Bristol wore masks. He said even though the students were frustrated at first, they eventually got used to wearing face coverings.

“We have to follow what the health department’s guidelines are and so we might as well just get used to tightening up and doing a little bit better job of following the guidelines,” Benton said.

Benton has his first meeting on Thursday with all of the principals in the district to discuss what guidelines are in place and how closely they are being followed.

“So hopefully, after Thursday, I’ll have a little better handle on it and then next weeks the vacation, so whenever we come back after Thanksgiving, I hope we can work on a little better than what we’ve been doing,” Benton said.

School board members Stacy Goodson and Tony Pumphrey were both sworn in on Tuesday. Pumphrey was also voted the new chairman of the board.