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February 17--  One of the newly elected members of the Toombs County school board is the new vice-chairman of the board.  Russ Benton was elected over veteran member and former vice-chair Duane Tomlin at the board's February meeting.  Benton said he welcomes the opportunity to learn the job.

In other action at its meeting, the school board voted to start a swimming program at Toombs County High School to accomodate two rising freshmen from the middle school who are swimmers.  The program will be at no cost to the school system and the kids' parents will act as coaches, according to school superintendent Dr. Kendall Brantley.

The school board passed a state-mandated code of ethics for school board members.

It also adopted a policy stating the valedictorian at Toombs County High School must be attending classes on the high school campus for at least three semesters prior to graduation starting with next year's freshman class.

It also heard an appeal from Johnny Jones asking the board to fund instruction of agricultural courses at the high school.  FFA Alumni and others have been funding the $20,000 cost, but Jones says it's more than they can do.

The school board also voted for the system to act as fiscal agent for a three-year grant to provide after-school care for at-risk kids at Lyons Upper Elementary School.