2017-05-19 / Local News

25 graduate from Leadership Cherokee program

Ledger Staff Writer

It was graduation day for 25 high school juniors and local businessmen involved in a Leadership Cherokee program.

The year-long program is designed to develop leadership skills for working adults and top junior students from Blacksburg and Gaffney high schools so they can become future leaders in Cherokee County. Each graduate participated in nine monthly sessions learning about community issues, county history, economic development and exploring different aspects of leadership.

A total of 20 high school students and five adults were awarded certificates Thursday during a graduation ceremony at Limestone College.

Leadership Cherokee is sponsored by the local Chamber of Commerce and Hamrick Mills Foundation.

During the closing ceremony, Elizabeth Ivey was honored for her 25 years as advisor for Leadership Cherokee. Ivey is retiring this year.

“Leadership Cherokee was really an awesome opportunity,” Gaffney High student Emma Humphries said. “I really learned a lot of leadership skills. One of the highlights for me was the tour of the statehouse. I really love government and politics.”

Leadership Cherokee activities included a ropes course, tours of Sloan Construction and Timken and a visit to the Cherokee Historical and Arts Society (CHAPS) to learn about the county’s history.

Blacksburg High student Ian O’Dell said he appreciated the diversity of the leadership sessions and feels the experience will help prepare him to be a future leader.

“I know a lot more about Cherokee County,” O’Dell said. “It was great to learn about different businesses and the community.”

Blacksburg High Junior Leadership graduates are O’Dell, Noah Dixon, J. Andrew Gore, and Addie and Agusta Rippy.

Gaffney High graduates are Macy Gault, Emily Harvey, Taylor Hudson, Emma Humphries, Anna Juarez, Caroline Keller, John Quint Little, Sarah Elizabeth Martin, Alena McCraw, Macy Peery, Abigail Seay, Danny Ray Swofford Jr., Cody and Molly Transou and Jada Vergara.

Adult leaders graduating this year are Shannon Creighton, Johnnie-Lynn Crosby, Stephanie Fisher, Clark J. Johns, and Dawn Querin.

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