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The Villages
Thursday, September 21, 2023

Sumter County Citizens Academy celebrates record-setting class

A record 13 Sumter County residents graduated from the Citizens Academy at the May 23, Sumter County Board of Commissioners meeting. The newest graduates are Richard Belles, Adrienne Betar, Beverly Bone, David Fountaine, Brian Goodman, Suzy Hackett, Bob Johnson, Mac McGovern, Judy and Greg Mersch, Johna Randa, Gale Satterlee and Julie Whitten.

County Chairman Craig Estep, far left, congratulates the Citizens Academy graduates
County Chairman Craig Estep, far left, congratulates the Citizens Academy graduates.

The Citizens Academy consists of five half-day sessions in which residents learn about the different departments and agencies. They also get tours of various facilities around the County. Academy attendees get to see first hand operations such as Public Works, Animal Services and the 911 call center. Other activities include an interactive emergency planning scenario, a tour of the inner workings of the library and they even get to learn about mosquitos and how to survive them.

Several attendees cited the opportunity to visit many venues onsite as a highlight. “I liked going out to all of the various departments, instead of just sitting in the same classroom, listening to speakers from the various areas,” said graduate Gale Satterlee.

Beverly Bone also enjoyed the tours. “I liked going to different locations and talking to the people who do the work,” she said.

Adrienne Betar concurred on the visits, “[I liked] the topic variations and location visits as well as the opportunities for Q&A, and the communications from sign-up to the end, including receipt of presentations.”

In regard to the Citizens Academy, resident Richard Belles said, “It was all outstanding!”

A new Citizens Academy program begins Aug. 8. If you’d like to attend this program, please register at https://www.sumtercountyfl.gov/citizensacademy.

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