05/22/2009: "Leadership Graduates May 29"
Press release: Leadership San Juan Islands announces graduation for Class V at 4pm on Friday May 29th at Skagit Valley College in Friday Harbor. Graduates Angie Attwell, Kristy Ayers, Louise Carnachan, Owen Cheevers, Margie Doyle, Ethna Flanagan, Steve Gresham, Cheryl Harlan, Bettye Hendricksen, Barbara LaBrash, Learner Limbach, Katie Loring, Suzi Marean, Barbara Marrett, Kiara McLauglin, Marta-Maria Nielson, Claire Nollman, Lou Pray, Tracy Roberson and Brian Windrope will present their proposed service projects and receive certificates of completion.
Commencement speaker will be Rhea Miller who served for over 10 years as a San Juan County Commissioner and was influential in spearheading local legislation and policy for sustainable living, including allowing rain water catchment for a domestic water source, and alternative building techniques such as strawbale construction, composting toilets, and wastewater gardens.
She gained a national reputation for her leadership in the first successful jetski ban by a local jurisdiction. Author of Cloudhand, Clenched Fist: Chaos, Crisis, and the Emergence of Community she has international peacekeeping experience in Israel & Palestine, Mexico, Japan, and the U.S. She is an adopted member of the Pakauwaka family of the Waitaha, first peoples of New Zealand, and has ceremonial experience with the Nahuatl peoples of Mexico. Rhea has a Masters of Divinity in Feminist Liberation Theology from the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA.
Businesses and agencies across the County played a part in the success of the program. This year the class appreciated significant housing donations by Smuggler’s Villa and Heartwood House on Orcas Island, and Lopez Islander Bay Resort. Each participant was also sponsored in part or wholly by their employer or a local nonprofit. This year the following sponsors provided support: San Juan Island Prevention Coalition, Orcas Island Prevention Partnership, San Juan County Community Network, San Juan Island School District, National Park Service, Lopez Island Library, Port of Friday Harbor, San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau, Friends of the San Juans, and the San Juan Preservation Trust. Institutional co-sponsors were Skagit Valley College San Juan Center by providing space for the program and staff time, and the San Juan County Economic Development Council which provided administrative support.
Leadership San Juan Islands is a county-wide program which fosters leadership skills such as facilitation, collaborative problem solving, and public speaking as well as the analysis of local systems related to governance, economics, social services, history and culture, education and the environment. Participants are selected in the fall and spend five months together, January through May, with a staff of four and many regional leaders. For more information see: http://www.leadershipsanjuanislands.org/.