The Thomas County Board of Education held its first meeting of the new calendar year Tuesday, January 16. After the invocation, outgoing chair Leah Smith declared the positions of chair and vice chair vacant and asked for nominations.
Board member Mark NeSmith made a motion that Dan Stewart be elected chair and that Ed Hopper be elected vice chair. Chris Hayes seconded NeSmith’s motion. Smith called for any additional nominations. There were no additional nominations, so Stewart and Hopper were elected to their respective roles with no dissenting votes.
Stewart serves District 6, and he and his wife, Sheri, reside on a family farm outside of Ochlocknee. Stewart retired as building maintenance supervisor at the Southwestern State campus where he worked for 30 years. Stewart is a family partner in a cattle/farming operation.
Stewart said, “I am humbled and honored to serve as chair alongside an incredibly cohesive group of board members. I feel my position as chair is dignified by the fact that we have the best school system that I could ask for. I look forward to working closely with Mr. Hopper, the rest of the board members, and Dr. Lisa Williams for a successful year.”
Hopper, who serves District 7, is self-employed. Hopper is a product of Thomas County Schools, and is excited to serve on the board for his alma mater. He is married to Lauren Hopper who teaches at Garrison-Pilcher Elementary School.
“I am honored to serve on the Thomas County Board of Education as the vice chair,” Hopper said. “It is an exciting time to be a Yellow Jacket! Whether in the classroom or on our athletic fields, we have great things happening in Thomas County, and I am proud to be a part of it.”