The Thomas County Board of Education held its first meeting of the new calendar year Tuesday, January 8 and chose a new chairman and new vice-chairman.

After the devotion, outgoing chair Derwood Hickey declared the positions of chairman and vice chairman vacant and asked for nominations.

Board member Kay Streets made a motion that Dan Stewart be elected chair and that Charles Evans be elected vice chair. Leah Smith seconded Streets’ motion. Hickey called for any additional nominations. There were no additional nominations. Stewart and Evans were elected to their respective roles unanimously. 

Stewart has served on the Thomas County Board of Education for two years. He is employed as building maintenance supervisor at the Southwestern State campus where he has worked for more than 29 years. He previously worked for the Georgia Department of Corrections. He and his wife, Sheri, reside on a family farm outside of Ochlocknee.

“I’m looking forward to serving the students, parents and tax payers of Thomas County,” said Stewart. “I’m also excited about the opportunity to serve alongside all the other members of the board, Dr. Lisa Williams, and the entire staff to be the best school system we can be.”

Evans has been a member of the board since 2007, and he served as chair during 2015. He retired from the Department of Natural Resources as a conservation ranger after 30 years and currently serves part-time as a bailiff for the court system. 

“I am humbled and honored to serve as vice chair alongside the most cohesive group of board members since I have been on the board,” Evans said. “I feel my position as vice chair is dignified by the fact that we have the best school system, administration, and superintendent that I could ask for. I look forward to working closely with Mr. Stewart, the rest of the board members and Dr. Lisa Williams for a successful year.”

The board also set meeting dates for 2019. The school board meets the second Tuesday of each month with the exceptions of July, which will be on July 16, and October, which will be on October 1. The meetings will be held at 7 p.m. at the Thomas County Board of Education, 200 North Pinetree Boulevard.