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Chatham County’s Leadership Academy Graduates Its Largest Class in 17 Years

Post Date:08/27/2019 12:30 PM

PITTSBORO, NC— On August 22, 2019, Chatham County honored 34 graduates of its Leadership Academy Class of 2019. This is the largest graduating class in the program’s 17-year history. Since its inception in 2002, the leadership development program has produced 322 graduates.

The Leadership Academy was developed to help employees gain the skills necessary to effectively manage their jobs while preparing them for expanded responsibilities. It is the only such program in the state where all classes are taught by county employees, many of whom are graduates of the academy.  In recent years, employees of the towns and nonprofit partners have also enrolled and graduated.

“It is exciting to see our largest ever graduating class of the Leadership Academy, and I have no doubt they will take the valuable skills they’ve honed back to their various departments within Chatham County and other municipalities to do great things,” said County Manager Dan LaMontagne. “I am proud to see how the program has evolved and grown even stronger over time with the dedication of our instructors, coordinators and students.”

This year’s academy honored two Outstanding Graduates for 2019 – Shannon Culpepper, who works for Chatham County’s Environmental Quality Department and James Tiger, who serves the county’s Health Department. Culpepper and Tiger were selected by their classmates and instructors. 

          Leadership Academy 2019 - Shannon Culpepper - James Tiger

The 2019 graduates include employees of the county, Lillington Police, and two nonprofits:

  • Chatham Trades:  Patrick Kelly
  • Chatham Transit:Andrea R. Mebane
  • Communications:Mike Reitz
  • Communities in Schools:Tychicus Brett Cowdin
  • Court Programs:Thea G. Palmer
  • Elections: Steve N. Simos
  • Emergency Management: Steven K. Newton
  • Environmental Quality: Shannon D. Culpepper
  • Finance:Rebecca Squires
  • Governing Board:Emily R. Tellman
  • Health:Claudia E. Cables, Anthony T. Izzard, Brad Jones and James P. Tiger
  • Library:Mary Earle, Katy Henderson, Angela Ritter and Rita Van Duinen
  • Lillington Police:Veronica Campbell
  • Planning:Cara Russell
  • Sheriff:Abby H. Bristow, Ricky G. Culberson, Chris Massey, Robert S. Miller, David Scott, Robert Smith and Taelor S. Tyson
  • Social Services: Nancy E. Burgess, Beth Hamm and Jennifer Yancey
  • Tax:  Jason A. Lundy
  • Town of Siler City:Nancy D. Darden
  • Water:Carl Iceman
  • Watershed Protection:  Morgan H. DeWit

The Leadership Academy program must be completed over three years, but most do it in two years. Those enrolled in the supervisory track must successfully complete 106 hours of classes, including 96 hours of mandatory classes and 10 hours of electives. 

Leadership Academy 2019 - Group Photo

The Leadership Academy program must be completed over three years, but most do it in two years. Those enrolled in the supervisory track must successfully complete 106 hours of classes, including 96 hours of mandatory classes and 10 hours of electives.