The Wayne County Board of Education elected Patricia Burden as its new chairman at its meeting Monday afternoon, replacing Arnold Flowers as the head of the board.

Burden was elected at the start of the meeting, before the board went in to closed session. Board member Raymond Smith nominated member Richard Pridgen for the position, but the board at large chose Burden.

Burden first joined the board in 2014, when she was appointed to fill the District 3 spot left behind when Thelma Smith passed away. She was formally elected to the position in November of 2016.

Though the chairman does not have additional voting power on the board, the position does have the power to appoint committees, execute contracts on behalf of the board and call special meetings. Burden said she is focused on a few specific issues going into 2018.

"I want to be very transparent, and schedule a time with the superintendent before each meeting to review everything and make sure we have a smooth process," she said. "I want to keep up with and finalize our reassignment plans that we're working on, and I'm also concerned with the upcoming K-3 class size legislation, not only in regards to space but also our teacher shortage."

Burden said she appreciated the vote of confidence from her fellow board members, and would work to represent the board well during her time as chairman.

More details will be added to this story as they become available.