vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for and The Free Lance-Star.

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Thomas graduates from county supervisor certification program

George Washington Supervisor Bob Thomas has graduated from the state’s County Supervisor Certification Program.

Thomas — who is midway through his first term — is the second member of the Stafford Board of Supervisors to complete the program. Aquia Supervisor Paul Milde graduated in 2008.

Supervisor Robert Thomas, Jr., with Brian Calhoun, associate director of Family & Consumer Sciences & Community Viability, Virginia Cooperative Extension | Photo courtesy VACO

The 18-month program is put on by the Virginia Cooperative Extension and the Virginia Association of Counties. Virginia Tech is also a partner. The course provides “training to enhance the leadership and decision-making skills of county supervisors in the Commonwealth,” according to a press release.

The 12 members in the eighth graduating class were recognized Nov. 10 at VACO’s annual conference in Bath County. Each had completed five core courses, including classroom instruction and self-directed learning about leadership development, duties of public officials, community planning, local government finance, and collaborative governance. Elective courses included conflict resolution and dispute management, team building, technology in local government, decision-making, and intergovernmental relations.

“I congratulate our 12 graduates on completing this challenging and fulfilling certification program,” James D. Campbell, executive director of VACO, said in a statement. “The 12 graduates are the most we’ve honored since our first class in 2006 recognized 10 graduates. This is proof that the program continues to grow, which bodes well for the future of county government. We believe the Supervisor Certification program is a way to acknowledge our members who seek additional training and improvement of their abilities to better serve their constituents.”