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Leadership Franklin class of 2012-2013 graduates

Frank Buford, Robert Blair, Jeff Smith (graduate), Lisa Smith and Valerie Caldwell-Buford (graduate) 

The inside joke for Leadership Franklin alumni is that their respective class is the “best Leadership Franklin class ever.” However the 2012-13 graduating class, the 17th class, might have bragging rights for the near future as they ride the momentum of four impressive projects.

This year’s class is also special since it is the fi rst graduating class since LF founder and Executive Director Caroline Cross retired.

“Mrs. Cross and the founding committee had a vision that this organization would engage a diverse group of leaders from throughout the Franklin community. Now, 18 years later, we just graduated a class that represents a true cross section of the leadership of our community,” said Paula Harris, executive director of Leadership Franklin and successor to Caroline Cross.

Leadership Franklin held its graduation April 10 at the Embassy Suites where four groups presented their class projects. A dinner and reception was held later that night for the class and alumni to celebrate their achievements.

Ed and Dolores Greenwald (graduate) with Dolores' mother, Ruby Jackson and sister, Denise Hess


The LF team of Dr. Monty McInturff, Dolores Greenwald, Bethany Lay, Tom Lawrence and Monique Mc- Cullough proposed a contest to bring awareness to both the Franklin Park system and the Williamson County Public Library. The contest centers around Bucky and Bonnie, two miniature horses. For a week, Bucky and Bonnie will visit several parks and leave clues as to where they can be found each day of the week. When contestants fi nd Bucky and Bonnie, they should take a photo of themselves with the horses and submit them to the library.

We wanted to come up with a fun way to promote not only the library but also our beautiful parks system,” stated Dr. Monty McInturff, owner of Tennessee Equine Hospital and chairperson for the Friends of Franklin Parks. “ What’ s more fun than a scavenger hunt to find two miniature horses?

Dan Alexander (graduate) and his son Kenyan


Mayor Dr. Ken Moore, Valerie- Caldwell Buford, Sara Butler, Will Reid and Charita Upkins partnered with the city of Franklin Parks and the Battlefi eld Preservation Commission to bring/ add the historical Toussaint L’Ouverture Cemetery to the Franklin Historic Parks Cell Phone Audio Walking Tour. The history of the cemetery, which was established in January 1884, is told along with many stories of those buried there who have helped shape the community. Local leaders and celebrities leant their voices to bring the stories to life. A dedication ceremony was held April 5 to introduce the tour to the public.


Amy Kovar, Janine Moore, Dan Alexander, Chuck Barber and Jeff Smith teamed up with the Franklin Housing Authority to fill the organization’s new store by soliciting clothing through partnerships with local businesses and by holding clothing drives.

The “Stock the Store” initiative seeks gently used professional women’s clothing, to be purchased by Franklin Housing Authority residents who earn store credit by participating in classes and workshops that include credit counseling, job search and training, and computer skills.

Leadershipb Franklin Executive Director, Paula E. Harris and Monique McCullough (graduate)


Ray Eldridge, Kerry Perkinson, Diane Thorne, Cindy Wilkins and Mahdi Woodard created a project that provides legitimate real- world opportunities for Middle College High School students to solve problems and demonstrate creativity. Project-based learning which is based on evolving role of teachers and students are a way for students to be engaged in the community and learn by doing. One of the projects presented to the students was to increase the participation of young voters in local elections.

“Each member of the 2013 Leadership Franklin class was bought together to be part of a very remarkable class; there are no coincidences,” said Debbie Henry, associate director for LF. “The class members were enriched during the year by the experiences of the Leadership Franklin program, and by each other.”

Posted on: 4/19/2013


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