CANTON, OH (January 2, 2009) - The Stark County Government Leadership Academy is seeking applicants for its six-week program. The Government Leadership Academy, now in its fourth year, offers elected officials and aspiring candidates leadership development skills and education about local and regional government. The program will begin Tuesday, Feb. 10 and applications must be received no later than Jan. 23.


The academy targets individuals serving in or aspiring for public office who wish to enhance their decision-making and leadership skills. Participation in the program will result in:


  • Greater knowledge about North East Ohio regional services
  • Enhanced leadership expertise and decision-making skill
  • Broader networks of elected and appointed officials across political boundary lines


Past participants include: Ronald Beltz, Hartville Village Council, Pam Bossart, Plain Township trustee, Anna Capaldi, Perry Township trustee, Jeff Davies, North Canton City Council, David Hersher, Massillon City Council, David Regula, Bethlehem Township trustee, Chris Smith, Canton City Council, Jackie Truax, mayor, Village of East Sparta, Frank Forchione, former Canton City prosecutor and current judge for the Stark County Common Pleas Court and Janet Creighton, former mayor of Canton, deputy assistant to the President.


The Government Leadership Academy is a program of Leadership Stark County, with support from the Stark County District Library, and is designed to increase the understanding of local government and how it functions. Professor Chet Bowling from The Ohio State University Extension facilitates the curriculum. Participants will meet and work with community leaders, focus on regionalism, assess personal leadership practices and earn Ohio Ethics Commission training. Jeff Matthews, Chair, The Stark County Republican Party and Johnnie A. Maier, Jr., chair, Stark County Democratic Party, both recommend the academy. The class takes place Tuesdays and Thursdays Feb. 10 through Mar. 19, meeting from 4 - 6 p.m. Cost is $275 per person and includes all materials and refreshments.


Applications for the Government Leadership Academy must be submitted by Jan. 23. For more information, contact Fran Wells, director, Leadership Stark County, at (330) 458-2094. Applications and more information about the program, including a listing of previous participants is available at