A-B Tech Employees Complete Western Community College Leadership Academy

Four A-B Tech Community College employees graduated this spring from the Western Community College Leadership Academy. Founded in 2021 at A-B Tech, the academy has since expanded to include Blue Ridge, Haywood, and Southwestern community colleges in the year-long leadership development program.

A-B Tech’s 2024 graduates are Patrycja Manning, Tonya Mintz, Scott Paxon, and Megan Triplett. The academy is led by A-B Tech Professional Development Director Barbara Cooney.

“It is a privilege to facilitate the WCCLA,” Cooney said. “The participants bring their unique perspectives, along with much energy and enthusiasm. This academy requires a commitment by all involved, from the sponsors to the participants, and this year was no exception. I think this program shows that a collaborative approach like this academy builds great connections that makes all of our colleges stronger.”

Each year, the college presidents and their senior leadership teams select a group of four to five employees from each college to participate in the program. To date, more than 55 employees have participated, and plans are underway for next year’s fourth cohort.

The goal of the Academy is to form values-driven, high-potential, high-performing leaders who think and collaborate in new and different ways with people within their colleges and across the region. The academy serves to foster greater agility in participants to be able to pursue innovative ideas while creating attainable solutions that address the constantly changing nature of higher education in today’s environment.

Participants focus on different monthly topics, including strategic thinking, emotional intelligence, personal and work core values, identifying their personal change styles, and more. Sessions include specialized training, idea sharing, and the opportunity to connect with others in similar roles across the region at each college. During the program graduation ceremony, participants presented their key takeaways from the program and how they will apply the lessons to their future work.

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