Commissioner John B. Mattingly saluted the inaugural class of the Leadership Academy for Child Safety, as 30 graduates completed 8 months of training on Wednesday, December 12th. The Academy is a new professional development opportunity that was designed specifically to develop a cadre of future leaders in child welfare as part of the Safeguarding Our Children Action Plan in 2006. At the graduation ceremony, held at the ACS Children’s Center, some of the graduates addressed senior leadership on behalf of the group and detailed their hopes for the future, including suggestions on improving sessions at ChildStat, the agency’s accountability tool used to strengthen case practice. One of the graduates, Renee Nixon-Simmons, described the group’s suggestions as “our effort to build, create and contribute as representatives of the effective and essential leaders in ACS."
The initial class was open to Child Protection Managers (CPMs) and deputy directors from the Division of Child Protection (DCP). The classes involved discussions with leaders throughout the agency about how to strengthen the work of ACS. At the culmination of the graduation ceremony, Deputy Commissioner Anne Williams-Isom of the Division of Community and Government Affairs delivered a spirited message, mixing inspiration with gratitude: “I want to thank all of you for all the steps you took before today and for that all the steps you will take tomorrow,” she said. Quoting from a book she read to her child the previous night, Williams-Isom added, “Today is your day and your mountains are waiting, so go on your way.”
The graduates included: Anthony Akinduro, Jr., Carl Anderson, Fritz Balan, Tresilla Boyd-Mulligan, Robin Brown, Yvette Brown, Almarie Buddington, Roberto Chamorro, Joan Cleary, Yves Coupet, Nana Darkwa, Michael Davis, Ordella Dunn, Helen Etienne, Nicole Fluellen Young, Frances Jones, Marjorie Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth Lamadieu, Ducoste Lamothe, Jr., Sandra Ledyard, Leslie Medley, Pamela Narcisse, Renee Nixon-Simmons, Camelia Pierre, Mary Richardson, Sharon Rogers, Charita Thomas, Iasia Tyre, Kim Voorhees and Rochelle Wright. The next class at the Leadership Academy will begin early next year.