NCACCBrunswick County Commissioner J. Martin Cooke, Jr. was recently recognized by the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners for meeting the requirements for the Mentor level in the Local Elected Leaders Academy (LELA), and Commissioners Pat Sykes and Frank Williams were recognized for meeting the requirements for the Master level in LELA.

A Master has completed a minimum of 66 credits (18 orientation credits + 30 focused in-depth credits + 18 elective credits) of continuing education since becoming a county commissioner. The highest level of recognition, a Mentor has completed a minimum of 82 credits (18 orientation credits + 42 focused in-depth credits + 24 elective credits) of continuing education since becoming a county commissioner.

The Local Elected Leaders Academy, a partnership with the UNC School of Government, the N.C. Association of County Commissioners and the N.C. League of Municipalities, offers local elected officials the knowledge and skills needed to lead and govern their communities.

County commissioners are recognized for their participation in both educational programs and service to the Association. The starting place for earning credits is the orientation program, the Essentials of County Government. As commissioners increase education and service, they earn credits toward recognition at three levels: Practitioner, Master and Mentor. The NCACC tracks credits and recognizes participation every year at the Annual Conference.

“The Academy is designed to help our commissioners by improving their knowledge of the issues and their leadership skills,” said NCACC Executive Director Kevin Leonard. “A commissioner who achieves recognition through LELA has shown a true commitment to their personal development and to their constituents back home.”