VALDOSTA -- It's out with the old and in with the new this year for the Lowndes County Board of Education.

Tuesday night, Mike Davis, District 1, was elected to the position of chairman of the Lowndes County Board of Education by a vote of 6-1. This year will mark his first as the board's leader.

Davis joined the board in January 2003, having defeated incumbent Steve Stalvey. At that time, he vowed to enter the board room open-minded and agenda-free, promising only to be "an honest and non-partial representative."

Davis was nominated for the position by Jason Wisenbaker, District 4. Fred Davis, District 7, nominated Bill Herring, District 3, who declined.

Longtime board chairman Bill Fuqua, District 5, announced that he was stepping down from the center seat in an effort to give someone else a chance to lead. He abstained from the voting process.

Following the selection of the chairman, the nomination process began for the Lowndes County Board of Education's vice chairman. By a vote of 6-1, Wisenbaker was elected to the position.

Appointed in May 2004 to serve the remainder of Roger Christie's term, which ended on Dec. 31, Wisenbaker kicked off his first full four-year term with the official swearing in Tuesday night.

Wisenbaker was nominated for the position by Fred Wetherington, District 2. Herring nominated Wetherington, who declined.

Again, Fuqua abstained from voting.

The position of vice chairman was previously held by Wendol West, District 6, who was defeated in July 2004 by Philip Poole.

Mike Davis and Wisenbaker will hold their offices for one year and until their successors are elected and qualified, according to board policy.

To contact reporter Jessica Pope, call (229) 244-3400, ext. 255.

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