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Bibb School Board Gains Three New Members | Education

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Bibb School Board Gains Three New Members

The Bibb County school board will have three new board members come January.

Board president Tommy Barnes, vice president Susan Middleton, and former president Gary Bechtel are term-limited, and they will vacate their seats at the end of the year.

In August, Thelma Dillard won Barnes' seat, but Tuesday night, newcomer Lester Miller took Middleton's seat, winning over Dominique Johnson.

Republican Jason Downey ran unopposed for Bechtel's seat.

Susan Sipe won back her seat in District 4 which was contested by Angela Freeman.

"This contest is the first time in District 3 that there's been a race where there are two very strong opinions on what needed to be done," said Freeman, "and so I hope that my opponent would understand how much I fought for a different kind of voice, and that she would honor some of the things we talked about, and maybe make it part of her platform."

Johnson, an academic coordinator with a Mercer University program that helps first-generation college students, said he was disappointed in the results of his race against Miller, but was ready to lend a hand.

"I told him any help he needed," said Johnson, "any resources I could help provide just to let me know, but we did talk and I think he'd be great for the board also."

For many votes this year, the board has voted along a divided 5-to-3 line. Sipe says the new board brings a new opportunity to start off on a more collaborative note.

"I think it's important that the five current board members that we bring these three new members in and for the eight of us to learn to talk to each other and share ideas, and I think that should be paramount in January," said Sipe.

Wanda West and Lynn Farmer's countywide seats were not up for a vote this election year.

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