The 2014 class of Leadership Sedalia was recognized with a two-and-half-hour graduation ceremony Thursday morning at Best Western State Fair Motor Inn, 2nd and Limit.
A total of 12 adults and 17 youth successfully completed the program, which was originally founded in 1987. In 2007, a youth division was added.
The class project this year involved designing, building and paying for four welcome signs at the main north, south, east and west entrance corridors of the City of Sedalia.
Total cost of the project was estimated at $46,000. But the city has only approved $23,000 to be spent on the project, thereby effectively eliminating two of the proposed signs, according to Mary Treuner, one of the 12 adult participants and spokesperson on the project. The class project was broken into four divisions — landscaping, design, presentation and location.
The rest of the adult participants in the Leadership Sedalia class were Dr. Joanna Anderson, Greg Banaka, Matt Irwin, Windy Jones, Dianna O’Connor, Sean Paul, Ashlee Paxton, John Peek, Selene Ruiz, Megan Webb and Josh Whitley.
Youth participants included Virginia Vanegas, Alex Bankovich, Chase Bussey, Erin Cloud, Meredith Crosier, Miranda Crosier, Alexander Eppenauer, Mary Fischer, Kathleen Matz, Chasity Merritt, Abby Monsees, Justin Pripusich, Emalea Risckhoff, Clint Spangler, Caleb Tanguay, Caitlyn Tanner and Kaitlyn Walters. Nine are students at Smith-Cotton, four are from Sacred Heart and four from Applewood Christian School.
Each youth participant introduced themselves and told of their favorite moments in the class. Tours were given of Bothwell Regional Health Center, Center for Human Services, Missouri State Fair, Tyson Foods and SFCC. And the class representative for the adults had many positive things to say of her experience.
“I sure enjoyed getting to know more about my now-hometown of Sedalia and learning about the many, great and wonderful businesses and services that our community has to provide. So it’s been a great opportunity for me and I know all of you as well,” SFCC President Dr. Anderson said during her recap of the program. “It’s been wonderful working with the professionals as well as the outstanding young leaders that we have in our community.”
Dr. Anderson, 57, was hired by the SFCC Board of Trustees one year ago today (April 11) and began serving as president on July 1. She is State Fair’s fifth president in the college’s 46-year history.
All participants received a certificate and a memento of their achievement.
A variety of session speakers and facilitators addressed the class over the past several months. Areas of discovery included the Missouri State Fair, Sedalia’s history, a leadership workshop (adults only), social services, arts & recreation, economic development, health care, manufacturing, government, social media and recycling.
Next year’s youth class members have already been chosen, according to Vanegas. However, available spots still remain for adult participants for 2014-15.
The purpose of Leadership Sedalia is “to build leadership skills, strengthen networking opportunities and to increase awareness of our community. And I would say it has achieved all of those things,” Dr. Anderson said.
Doug Benitz served as emcee for the event. SFCC’s Laura Taylor was the coordinator for Leadership Sedalia. She was honored for her many years of faithful service. Sedalia Community Development Director John Simmons was presented with a T-shirt for his efforts with the group. Photos by Randy Kirby, Sedalia Weekly Observer.