WILMINGTON — The 2020 graduating class of Leadership Clinton gathered Thursday afternoon for its annual commencement and class project presentation, held outside at the Clinton County Youth Council on West Sugartree Street.
This year’s brief ceremony was the first in 34 years without guests, and with social distancing and with masks (for the most part).
The 2020 graduates are: Autumn McLaughlin, Scott Anderson, Bexlie Beam, Michelle Callendar, Dani Cochran, Michael Gorman, Rhonda Henson, Stephen Jones, Tabatha Kennedy, Mikayla Hughes, Jeffrey Rollins, Matthew Runk and Lesley Wininger.
Clinton County Leadership Institute Board President Josh Martin and Board Member Terry Habermehl presented each graduate with a certificate and a gift.
LC 2020 grads Dani Cochran and Michelle Callendar spoke about the LC Class of 2020 project which involved local youth development, specifically raising funds for activities for the Clinton County Youth Council.
The class also raised funds to purchase a much-needed commercial-grade zero-turn lawnmower for the CCYC.
CCYC Executive Director Eric Guindon, a graduate of the LC Class of 2018, expressed his appreciation not only for the mower but for the LC class’ work with the youth and fundraising.
The CCYC was established in 1997 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to “help youth make healthy choices” by providing free after-school academic support, educational programming, and positive youth outreach events.
Guest speaker was Dr. Kevin Boys, President of Southern State Community College. Boys urged the graduates to continue their community leadership, stressing the leadership traits of listening as well as flexibility.
The group honored Clinton County Leadership Institute’s Cathy Koerner, who is stepping down after several years of leading the LC classes.
The dedicated Koerner, whom the News Journal described two years ago as “organizer, motivator, arm-twister, den mother and confidante to all the participants”, was proclaimed a Lifetime Leader and presented with a special glass vase.
Jonathan McKay, who will assume Koerner’s role with Leadership Clinton, briefly addressed the graduates.
For more on Leadership Clinton and CCLI, visit https://leadershipclinton.org or the Facebook page @cclead .