Leadership Houston County
Entrance into the Leadership Class offers you some unique opportunities to learn about your county and network with other community and civic minded individuals. Even if you are a life-long resident, there is something you will learn about your county!
One day a month for nine months, a select group of practicing and aspiring community leaders from throughout Houston County will experience a personal and professional journey. You will attend classes; engage with experts from a diversity of fields, tour behind-the-scenes locations, and participate in community-based activities. Your class will come together to complete a project to benefit the community.
Leadership Houston County is a great opportunity to meet and work with fellow leaders who have a genuine care and concern about their community, and who are willing to be further engaged in maximizing their resources to make a true difference. The thing that’s the most exciting is that the leadership class members will have a chance to realize what type of leader they are and how they can grow in our community.
The Alumni Association works closely with Junior Achievement. The Youth Leadership program, headed by Kristi Spurgeon, teaches the kindergarten and first grade classes. The Leadership Houston County graduates are currently teaching second grade through sixth grade. Each year we strive to add a grade until we are reaching all grades!
History of Leadership Houston County
Leadership Houston County offered its first class in 2001-2002 to develop effective, community leaders by arming them with knowledge, skills, and the network needed to build a cooperative spirit to enhance the quality of life; and promote an excellent education system for the people of the Houston County area.
Initially the retreats took place at the Shamrock Club. Very special thanks to Betty and Bob McKinnon for their wonderful hospitality and help with all of the Leadership Houston County Retreats! It has been so wonderful have such a beautiful setting and such gracious host for our Retreats. In 2012 the retreats were moved to the Brandon Spring Group Center at the Land Between The Lakes.
The LHC program fosters understanding of the assets, challenges, and future of the Houston County area. LHC sessions are designed to increase participants’ awareness of activities and programs available to communities. LHC’s comprehensive seminars stress the importance of civic responsibility. Our Leadership class projects have been a success in our community and the efforts of each class is truly appreciated by all and will likely endure through many generations.
The Class of 2001-2002 was the first Leadership class in Houston County. This class project was to begin the Three Star Certification process. Houston County has enjoyed the benefits of being a Certified Three Star community for three years thanks to the first Leadership Houston County class.
The Class of 2002-2003, the 2nd Leadership class in Houston County chose Community Beautification as their class project. Great changes were soon made to the County Courthouse yard, over sized trees removed, new landscaping was done and light fixtures were updated.
Mary Chappell- Ricketts
The Class of 2003-2004, 3rd Leadership class in Houston County chose to create and renovate the park area around the Lime Kiln at Quarry Park. Several workdays took place with massive amounts of trash and brush removed. Picnic tables and benches were added. A tour bus visited the Lime Kilns in Houston County in the fall of 2005 after being added to the National Historical Register.
The Class of 2004-2005, 4th Leadership class in Houston County, proves the quality leadership we have in Houston County. They chose a project that will take long-term vision and commitment. The class had a circa 1900’s one room school house donated to them, the Houston County Board of Education has given them a place to put it at the Houston County High School, now comes the hard part…raising funds for the move, environmental concerns, structural concerns. They continue to work and have made a lot of progress towards completing their goal!
The Class of 2005-2006, the 5th Leadership class in Houston County, chose a project that most of the older generations in Houston County know all too well. “88 Steps to Knowledge” was the renovation of the 88 concrete steps that lead from Main Street to the site of the old Erin High School where many of the older generation of Houston County would use going to and from gym class each day. When you get a chance, step to the top and see the wonder work this class did… there is a bench at the top to rest before you have to come back down.
Ruth Ann Lowery
The Class of 2006-2007, is the 6th Leadership class and has chosen to begin the initial phase of the Tennessee Ridge Walking Trail. The trail is being cleared and upgraded for walking along the former railroad bed to the portion behind Tennessee Ridge City Hall. The long range plans are to connect the Tennessee Ridge Trail to the Erin Walking Trail. Grant applications will be filed by Tennessee Ridge.
Kristi L. Gant
The Class of 2007-2008, the 7th class, has been selected. They have chosen to work to educate our community and business leaders to the need for a full time position of a Director in the Chamber of Commerce.
The Class of 2008-2009 is the 8th class. Robin Lyle was the Class Coordinator. At this point over 100 community leaders have been involved in LHC. The 8th class has chosen an entryway to the new Houston County Fair grounds to be their project. The Fair grounds are not going to be completed in time for the class to fulfill their project, so they have decided to donate permanent garbage cans to be located throughout the county parks.
The Class of 2009-2010 was the 9th class. Michele Crow is the class leader. This class provided six outdoor benches for use throughout our County Parks.
The Class of 2010-2011 was the 10th Leadership class in Houston County. Class coordinator was Johnny Baggett. It was the first class to attempt two projects. County Tourism Promotion was the main class project. Plans are still in the works to incorporate the signage into the Danville project along with other areas of the county. The second project was to receive donations each meeting to make a difference in a small way – “Pennies That Counted”. The monies collected were used to make a donation to the Imagination Library.
The Class of 2011-2012 was the 11th class and was the first class to have their retreat at Brandon Spring near LBL. Jane Latsch was the class coordinator and Leah Baggett was her assistant.
The Class of 2012-2013, the 12th class, held their retreat at Brandon Spring near LBL. Leah Baggett was the class coordinator. They anticipate doing a beautification project in the county.
Polly Fussell Miller
The Class of 2013-2014 was the 13th class and they returned to Brandon Spring for their fun retreat. Leah Baggett was the class coordinator. For their class project, they built park benches, two for the City of Erin and two for the City of Tennessee Ridge. Graduation was celebrated at the Valley View Farm.
No class was held in 2014-2015. The Class of 2015-2016 became the 14th class and they returned to Brandon Spring for their retreat. Their class project was to have a picnic table and two benches built for the Veterans Park at Tennessee Ridge. In addition, the Leadership Class volunteered at the Tennessee Ridge City Hall planting trees for the Veterans Park as well as forming a team for the Relay for Life in Houston County 2016. Leah Baggett was the class coordinator.