Payson Town Councilor Su Connell said the town-sponsored Leadership Academy gave her a working knowledge of local government, instruction that's often time overlooked in the schools.
"I think it's the absolutely best way to understand how government works," Connell said. "It was very diversified -- young folks, old folks, people from all walks of life who shared a common vision."
Connell participated in the 2003 inaugural class and delved into a curriculum that provided her blossoming political career a solid foundation.
For the third year in a row, residents from all areas of the community, including council and mayoral candidates, may attend the eight-session Leadership Academy, which begins in August.
During eight sessions, attendees learn about the workings of local government and meet the folks who work behind the scenes.
If you're looking to participate, the deadline is July 14.
"We have several graduates running around the community," Town Manager Fred Carpenter said. "It's looked upon as a primer for other activities in the town."
Classes cover everything from town code to the roles of each department.
The Leadership Academy, sponsored by Arizona Public Service Company, is free of charge for those accepted to the program.
For more information or to obtain an application, visit the Town of Payson Web site at www.ci.payson.az.us or call (928) 474-5242.
-- To reach Felicia Megdal call (928) 474-5251 ext. 116 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.