//Local citizens graduate from Valdosta Government 101 program

Local citizens graduate from Valdosta Government 101 program

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Photo: The Class of 2023 Valdosta Government 101 Citizens Orientation class pictured with City Manager Richard Hardy and Mayor Scott James Matheson.

VALDOSTA – Seventeen local citizens recently graduated from the 14th annual Valdosta Government 101 Citizens Orientation in a ceremony.


Seventeen local citizens graduated from the 14th annual Valdosta Government 101 Citizens Orientation at a ceremony on May 15, joining more than 280 graduates from the program to date.

The six-week program, an initiative of the Valdosta Mayor and City Council, attracted citizens from all walks of life—from student to educator, professional to retired, and everything in between—with the common goal of learning about the programs and services of their city government.

The class of 2023 includes Georgia Bennett, April Bitler, Mykaela Brown, David Essaff, R. Keith Godfrey, Vivian Green, Angela Greer, Dora Harding, Michael King, Bridgett Manning, Timothy McCoppin, Kvonne Oliver, Jennifer Price, Carol Royal, Gary Sooy, Marie Sooy, and Rebecca Storey.

“This course provided a lot of value and education. I’m glad our family returned to the Valdosta area,” said Bridgett Manning.

Participants of the program met on six consecutive Monday evenings, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., to learn about the overall city government structure, public safety, municipal court, engineering, public works, utilities, financial administration, industrial and economic development, recreation, inspections, neighborhood and community development, parks and recreation, Main Street, and planning and zoning.

The Valdosta Government, 101 Citizens Orientation, is one of three volunteer programs in the City of Valdosta available to citizens—the other two are the Citizens Police Academy and Citizens Fire Academy—designed to give locals valuable knowledge of resources through a behind-the-scenes view inside their local government. Several graduates from these programs have utilized their experience and expertise to pursue public service opportunities, such as serving on local boards, commissions, and other public offices.

The Valdosta Government 101 Citizens Orientation is held annually during April and May. For information about the 2024 class, contact Community Relations and Marketing Manager Sharah’ Denton at 229-259-3548.