Two new members were sworn into office for the Robstown Independent School District Board of Trustees Friday, and the current board president said he hopes the new additions will help bring unity to what has been a fractured board.

Following the swearing-in ceremony for new board members Ernesto Gallegos and Osvaldo Romero, board president Robert Tapia said he was encouraged by the message they sent during the campaign.

"Mr. Gallegos and Mr. Romero campaigned saying they want unity. Well, that's what we've been wanting, to be unified," Tapia said. "Hopefully, divisiveness has ended, and we must move forward."

Tapia also spoke well of Rosendo Espinoza and Jerry Gonzalez, the two candidates who were defeated in the May 9 election.

"They served their community, and I praise them for that," Tapia said. "But somebody had to win."

Romero agreed with Tapia's comments, and said he hoped the board could work together.

"We want to unite the school board. I think the divisiveness is over with. Certainly, we're going to have differences of opinion, but we're going to be very respectful in regard to that."

Romero said his immediate goal would be to work toward improving the school district's math and science programs, by creating academic booster clubs and establishing committees directed by members of the school board.

"Everything we spoke about during the campaign, we're going to move forward on. Those were not empty promises," Romero said. "I think we have the potential to be an outstanding school district, and I think we're going to fulfill that potential."

Gallegos also spoke about unifying the board, and said he believed it was possible for all seven members to work as a team.

"I'm a team player," Gallegos said. "We can make a difference with the rest of the board members.

"I'm really hoping the board members who are in place will see my view, which is that we really are here to help them."