WENTWORTH – Rockingham County Citizen’s Academy graduates were announced at the County Commissioners meeting on Monday, Nov. 18.

Fourteen candidates graduated after completing 10-week sessions learning about county government and how it operates and functions.

The members went through learning everything from human resources to touring the Board of Elections office.

The Vice Chairperson of the 2013 Citizen’s Academy Leanna Lawson said after being in the first citizens academy three years ago, she has seen great improvements and positivity from the members.

“We feel that if the citizens get the knowledge and policies and know what’s going on in Rockingham County, they’ll make better decisions,” Lawson said.

Lawson said next year she will be taking over the place of Sharon Penley as chairperson to dive into year four of the academy.

“The people have been pleased with it [citizen’s academy],” Lawson said. “We had some great hands on exercises that students were able to do throughout the sessions.”

At the graduation, the county commissioners shook hands with the graduates and congratulated them for his or her success. Graduates were given a framed certificate for finishing the academy.

Following the commissioners meeting, the family and friends of graduates had a reception in the cafeteria of the county building.

“It’s just an eye opener for the citizens of Rockingham County,” Lawson said. “We are hoping this might be a requirement for new hirers for the county government one day.”

The next citizen’s academy application will come out sometime in May 2014 for anyone who is interested in learning about county government and how it functions.

“We are just so proud that the citizens are interested,” Lawson said.

Contact Staff Writer Katie Mann at 349-4331, Ext. 30, kmann@reidsvillereview.com or follow @katiemmann on Twitter.

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