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May 10--  The newly appointed school board member from Vidalia's third ward took the oath of office Tuesday night at the May meeting of the Vidalia Board of Education.


Vidalia City Court Judge Macky Bryant (L) swears in Doug Roper.

Doug Roper, III is succeeding longtime member Virginia Sharpe who is turning 84 this year and has served on the board since 1995.

{mosimage}"I want to tell everybody that our job is never complete, never.  We are supposed to make sure these children do the right thing, graduate and go out into the community and do the right thing.  We have a lot of wrongdoings in the community and these children have to be taught at home as well as in the school system," she believes.

School Superintendent Dr. Tim Smith says Ms. Sharpe has always kept the board focused.

"I have always referred to Mrs. Sharpe as the conscious of the board.  Regardless of what the topic was, we always knew that she, above anyone else, could also bring us back to the children, and she did.  We are really going to miss her," Dr. Smith said.

Roper graduated from Vidalia High School the year Mrs. Sharpe came on the school board and says he's looking forward to continuing her work.  "I've thought about it and I've talked about it with friends and family.  I care about kids and believe in education.  I'm just tryng to do my part to help insure we educate our kids to the best of our ability and look out and provide for our teachers as well," he said.

The new board member will fill Mrs. Sharpe's unexpired term which end in December.  He plans to seek election to the office in this Fall's election and Mrs. Sharpe hopes he will win.

"In talking to him and him telling me things that he thought, made me think that this man will be good.  I am hoping that he can be voted back in," she said.