For the final time Thursday, the Columbia County School Board selected its own chairman.
The board chose Wayne Bridges to serve as chairman this year during a breakfast meeting at Harlem High School.
A new state law, enacted during the 2005 legislative session, created an at-large elected school board chairman. The first vote takes place in the November general election.
Though honored by the vote, Bridges said, serving as the last chairman chosen by the board isn't that special.
"The chairman doesn't really have any powers beyond that of a regular board member, whether he or she is chosen by us or the public," he said.
Bridges replaces Regina Buccafusco, who officially announced her candidacy at the meeting for the elected chairman's position.
"I enjoyed being chairman," she said. "I enjoyed it so much I plan to run in November."
The first elected chairman's term will last two years. After that, each chairman will serve four-year terms.
During the next few years, the school board will face such dilemmas as building new schools, possibly choosing a replacement for School Superintendent Tommy Price and fully implementing the criteria outlined in No Child Left Behind.
"There's a lot that is going to be happening in those two years," Buccafusco said. "Having experience on the board during that transition time I think is going to be very important."
Also at the meeting, the board chose Roxanne Whitaker to serve as vice chairwoman.
The decision to appoint a new board attorney was postponed until the board's next meeting Tuesday.
Trustee Michael Sleeper was unable to attend Thursday's meeting and Bridges felt that choosing a board attorney was too important a decision for him not to be included, Bridges said.
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