Leadership Shelby County graduates class of 2019

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

HOOVER – The graduates of the 2019 class of Leadership Shelby County will leave a lasting impact on American Village, local children in need and unsung community heroes, as they unveiled their yearlong service projects during a May 14 graduation ceremony.

During the ceremony, which was held at the Jefferson State Community College Hoover-Shelby Campus, the 40-member LSC class of 2019 celebrated the end of a several-month journey through the program.

Over the past several months, the class members learned more about many facets of Shelby County while working in three teams to develop and implement projects to increase the quality of life in the county.

“We thank you for going through this program. We know it’s a big sacrifice to give one day a month to learn more about the county, and to work on projects to benefit the county,” said 2017-2019 LSC Board of Directors President Tom Sanders. “These are three outstanding projects, and all three have an element of sustainability to go out and continue to impact the county after this initial rollout. I think that’s wonderful.”

Also during the graduation ceremony, the LSC Alumni Board awarded $2,500 scholarships to three local students: Montevallo High School student Trudie Benson, who will be attending the University of Montevallo, Oak Mountain High School student Lauren Stevens, who will be attending Jeff State, and Shelby County High School student Lakelyn Bentley, who will be attending the University of Alabama.

The LSC graduates completed the following projects during their time going through the program:

-Group 1 enacted the “Hall of Heroes” program in Vincent, with plans to expand it to other schools throughout the county. Through the Hall of Heroes program, fifth-graders wrote essays nominating individuals in the community they identified as unsung heroes, and the Student Government Association at the high school narrowed the nominations down to the top five. The fifth-graders then chose one person – Angela Mitchell – to induct into the Hall of Heroes in March.

Members of Group 1 were Russell Bedsole, Krista Chick, Joel Dixon, Keyla Handley, Kristy Lee, Yvonne Murray, Chreryl Naugher, Brian Parker, Mike Northrup, Jerod Sinclair, Benji Sawyer, DeWayne Taylor, Paige Wallace and Roderick Watkins.

-Group 2 worked with the Alabama Veterans Shrine and Register of Honor at the American Village, which is seeking to serve as a repository for information on every veteran in the state. Over the past several months, the group has increased entries in the system by about 20 percent, and has helped spread the word about the registry to veterans’ groups across the state. During the graduation ceremony, group members also honored all veterans who were in attendance.

Members of Group 2 were Graham Brooks, Ashley Crumpton, Chris Fielding, Dennis Hulsey, Jomo Johnson, Keri Johnson, Alice Lobell, Theresa Mays, Paula Pickens, Keith Sides, Curtis Rigney, Todd Stein and Laurie Stroud.

-Group 3 enacted Resource Discovery Shelby County, which seeks to connect school nurses and counselors in the Shelby County, Alabaster and Pelham school systems with nonprofit organizations offering services to children in need. In March, the group hosted a forum at the Shelby County Instructional Service Center to help identify the needs school nurses and counselors face. In September, the group will host a meeting to bring school professionals and local businesses and nonprofits together to help meet those needs.

Members of Group 3 were Scott Coefield, Tim Garner, Senta Goldman, Mary Ellen Heuton, Anne Lugar, Jimmy Macon, Christy Napper, Tony Picklesimer, Ryan Pindroh, Kristi Scozzaro, Nannette Sheaffer, Kevin Snowden and Jeff Stephenson.