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Heber Leadership Academy accepting applications for second year of city-sponsored education, service

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Heber City
The inaugural class of the Heber Leadership Academy stands for a photo between Heber City Manager Matt Brower (left) and Heber City Executive Assistant Luke Searle (right).

After an inaugural year of local government workshops, networking and a community service project, the Heber Leadership Academy starts back up this month.

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Last year, 20 Heber Leadership members included city employees, commuters who worked in Heber Valley businesses and schools, and residents who wanted to become more involved in their community.

Once a month on Thursday afternoons, they gathered for crash courses on how government agencies and organizations function. In the academy’s second year, the city plans to continue that focus.

“September, it will be about public safety in the month of December, it will be about state and federal government,” said Luke Searle, Heber City Executive Assistant. “In the month of February, it'll be about the school district and education.”

He said the class will bring former Utah governor Gary Herbert to speak in December when the class covers state government.

An introductory session later this month will begin the program with a speaker discussing community leadership. A new focus in one session this year will be community service.

Participants responded to a survey at the end of the inaugural year to weigh in on what was most successful. Searle said meetings at the Heber Valley Airport and Heber City Public Works station were among the most popular days. Those included tours of facilities and planes, trucks and maintenance machinery there.

Aside from education and networking, another primary focus of the program is to carry out a service project as a class. After a late start, the inaugural class revamped a city project to build a splash pad near City Hall and in July got a $56,000 pledge from the city council to help pay for it. Searle said he hoped the splash pad would be ready by next summer.

“I want to ensure that class projects in the future do their best to finish up at the end of that class session, and so [we’re] trying to work on that and collaborate with the class at the very beginning, at the very start of it,” Searle said.

He said the city may offer ideas about what to do, but participants direct the project.

Searle said at least 20 members will be accepted this year. Applications are due August 11 by the end of the work day. City Hall offices close at 6 p.m.

For a link to apply, visit envisionheber.com/leadership.

Ben Lasseter reports for KPCW in Wasatch County. Before moving to Heber City, Ben worked in Manti as a general assignment newspaper reporter and editor.
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