Leadership Highland, an intensive leadership program highlighting different aspects of the Highland County community, will return this year after a decade-long hiatus, according to Brooke Beam, agriculture and natural resources officer and community development director with the Highland County OSU Extension Office.
Beam said the original Leadership Highland began in the early 1990s and had its last class in 2007. Beam said she’s not clear on why it ended, but it may have been due to a change in direction at the extension office.
The program consists of nine full-day course sessions designed to provide participants with a greater knowledge of Highland County and leadership skills for all professions, according to a program pamphlet. Beam said it was her familiarity with the success of other counties’ leadership programs that led her to revive Leadership Highland.
“The program I’m developing will be very similar to the old Leadership Highland, but it’s also modeled after similar leadership programs in Fayette, Warren and Clinton County,” she said. “Each one is a little different.”
This year’s class will begin on Aug. 8 and end on May 15, 2019, according to Beam.
Sessions include education on history and culture, agriculture and natural resources, health and public safety, economic development, government and infrastructure, business and industry, and education.
According to Beam, the program will also include leadership training, public speaking exercises, mass-communication strategies and discussion of personality types.
“There’s a very diverse set of things we’re going to cover,” Beam said. “We’re going to try and go on as many tours as we can so everyone can see things in person.”
Beam said locations will include the Highland County Health Department, Highland County Sheriff’s Office and Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District, as well as the historical societies in Hillsboro, Greenfield and Lynchburg. There will also be a leadership retreat at Rocky Fork Lake.
An optional class day will include a visit to the 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard, Beam said, as well as visits to the Highland County Fair, Serpent Mound, Smokin’ in the Hills barbecue competition and the Taste of Highland County event in uptown Hillsboro.
Beam said the program is designed for “stakeholders” in Highland County who want to learn more about local communities and industries.
The tuition for the program is $1,000 per participant, and can be sponsored by the participant themselves, employers, corporate sponsors or Leadership Highland scholarships, Beam said.
Those interested in scholarships or more information on the program should contact Beam at 937-393-1918.
Applications are available online at highland.osu.edu or at the extension office.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.