Leadership class takes place for fifth year

Published 4:24 pm Friday, September 14, 2007

Partners for Pearl River County has been holding classes to help people in the community be better leaders, no matter what field they are in.

For the fifth year in a row, a number of members of the community in a number of different areas such as law enforcement and city and county government meet once a month for about 10 months to find out how to be better leaders.

The meetings are sponsored by Partners for Pearl River County. The Partners in Leadership classes take place once a month on Thursdays, said Partners for Pearl River County vice president Glade Woods. At each meeting, the class tackles a different issue in leadership. This month’s meeting dealt with leadership in law enforcement; the judicial system, and local, state and federal government. Class meetings also provide participants the opportunity to meet and network with others in the community, Woods said.

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Other topics include the environment, schools and education, and health and the related services, he said.

The classes began in 2003, making this year’s class the fifth class. Its graduation is scheduled for May of 2008.

To kick off each class, all registered students meet at Hillsdale for a weekend retreat where they get to know each other. Then one Thursday of each month they meet to have class. Paper copies of the instruction is handed out for students to take home for further review.

The program was been recognized by the American Society for Training and Development with a Course Development Award.

Cost of the class is $300 for each student, which is much cheaper than surrounding communities charge for similar programs, which is usually about $1,500, Woods said.

Thursday the class elected members Mark Jarrett as president, Bill Martin as vice president, Bonnie Hodge as secretary and treasurer, Jon Myers for public relations and Tessa Quave as the chaplain.

Dr. Patricia Knight, who was one of the first graduates of the leadership class, is acting as the chairperson, with Scott Langlois and Brandon Rhodes as co-chair persons. Knight said she had such a positive experience during her time in the class that she chose to help with following classes.

“Everyone works together to create a really good experience,” Knight said.

She said students will be surprised at how much they can grow by the end of the class. She said new and old county residents alike can learn things about Pearl River County.

Funding for Partners for Pearl River County has been provided by the cities of Picayune and Poplarville and Pearl River County Board of Supervisors.