Ten elected officials comprise the first set of graduates from the County Supervisor Certification Program, a partnership of Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) to provide training that enhances the leadership and decision-making skills of county supervisors in Virginia.

On Nov 12, participants received certificates of completion at the VACo Annual Conference in Hot Springs, Va.

Graduates of the 18-month certification program include:

Wayne Acors, Caroline County

Charles Ballard, Page County

Phillip Bradshaw, Isle of Wight County

Gerald Cubbage, Page County

Carol Fisher-Strickler, Page County

Thomas Fore, Sr., Amherst County

R. Kenneth Hatcher, Powhatan County

Judy Lyttle, Surry County

Ronnie Shortt, Wise County

Thomas Wright, III, Isle of Wight County

The County Supervisor Certification Program formed in response to VACo members requesting more in-depth knowledge about government operations.

“The membership of the association enjoyed the educational programs we provided and wanted advanced training,” said James D. Campbell, executive director of VACo. “This certification program is a way to acknowledge those members who seek additional training and recognize those who enhance their ability to better serve constituents.”

Virginia Cooperative Extension assisted in gathering information from other state organizations and helped develop the curriculum. Both Extension personnel and contracted trainers provide the classroom instruction.

“This program is a great example of Virginia Cooperative Extension growing its partnership with an organization to strengthen the impact of our community viability efforts and to collaborate with other agencies to provide leadership education,” said Mark McCann, director of Virginia Cooperative Extension and associate dean of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The County Supervisor Certification Program provides an overview of the basic issues, expectations, and practices associated with serving as a county supervisor as well as detailed information about local government. Each participant completes five core courses featuring both classroom instruction and self-directed learning on leadership development, duties and responsibilities of public officials, community planning, local government finance, and collaborative governance. Participants also select three elective courses on topics such as conflict resolution and dispute management, team building, technology in local government, decision-making, and intergovernmental relations.

For more information about the County Supervisor Certification Program, contact James Campbell, executive director of VACo, at (804) 343-2500.

VACo supports county officials and represents, promotes, and protects the interests of counties to better serve the people of Virginia.

Virginia Cooperative Extension brings the resources of Virginia’s land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, to the people of the commonwealth. Through a system of on-campus specialists and locally based agents, it delivers education in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, community viability, and 4-H youth development. With a network of faculty at two universities, 107 county and city offices, 13 agricultural research and extension centers, and six 4-H educational centers, Virginia Cooperative Extension provides solutions to the problems facing Virginians today.

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