The Knox-Haskell Texas Rural Leadership Program (TRLP) has completed its 2015 pilot program. The program, which kicked-off in October 2014, was a combined effort between Knox and Haskell counties to encourage individuals to become better educated about resources and community leadership roles in rural communities. The Knox-Haskell TRLP had a total of 15 active participants who will continue to implement what they learned through the program. The participants met once a month for eight months to study leadership curriculum as well as hear from local civic and business leaders regarding resources and leadership roles in each of their respective communities.
The last session of the TRLP was held on May 4th at the Turnrow Grill in Knox City, Texas. During the session, participants and their families, as well as special guests of the program, gathered for a graduation ceremony where awards were distributed and each group’s community projects were announced.
During the graduation ceremony, program participants and guests heard from Ronnie McDonald, Executive Director of TRLP as well as Dr. Lynn White, President of TRLP who traveled from College Station, Texas, to acknowledge the series, its accomplishments and future project plans that program graduates plan to implement in their communities.
The Haskell county class’ community project plans included a Haskell city park clean-up and beautification effort as well as spearheading a long term vision and fundraising plan for city park improvements. Graduates of the Haskell county class who will implement the plan include Scott Bearden, DaLinda Black, Laura Bowers, Sheena Crosson, Erin Dunnam, Mary Drury, Tammy Cunningham, Teresa Martinez, Carl Milburn and Parris Pittman.
The Knox county class’ community project plans included pursuing state grants and funding for additional sidewalks and decorative lighting around the Knox County courthouse area as well as helping with other projects around the City of Benjamin. Graduates of the Knox County class who will implement the plan include Lorrie Coop, Jimi Coplen, Tatiana Nchotu, Joy Lynn Pool and Mitzi Welch.
At this time, the series is expected to be repeated for the 2015 – 2016 calendar year. If repeated, the eight part program again would include the following topics and themes: Introduction to Community Development, Leadership in a Nutshell, Communication Skills, Organizing and Group Dynamics, Leading Together as well as Planning and Project Management.
Initial organizers for the TRLP included the City of Haskell, Development Corporation of Haskell, Haskell County Extension Service, Knox County Visioning Group, Knox County Extension Service as well as the Texas Rural Leadership Program leaders based out of College Station, Texas. Businesses who sponsored an employee to attend included Davis Kinard, Haskell CISD, Haskell County, Haskell Early Learning Center, First Bank Texas, Richardson’s True Value, Haskell Feeds, Knox County Appraisal District, and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
Applications for the next leadership course will be available starting in August of 2015. For more information, please call 940-459-4121 or 940-864-3424.