Virtual Master Municipal Clerk and Clerk of the Board Academy

Note: You must complete your level’s intro class and the four common classes to receive a certificate of completion. Please mark your calendars for all five of your classes now.


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July 21st – 9 am – 11:30 am & July 22nd – 9 am – 11 am (4.5 hours total)

1st Year: Taking leadership to the next level: Enhancing our leadership competencies and understanding and maximizing our communication style (A) Leadership/Management
This course is required for first-time Academy participants

Successful leaders are self-reflective and self-aware. They understand the distinctions between management and leadership and are conscious of the impacts of their own behavior. Successful leaders are also fully aware of how they communicate and how to connect with others through communication. This session will explore these concepts as well as other leadership competencies such as the difference between management and leadership, how we show up and how our presence impacts others and what compels others to follow you as a leader.

In this session, we will:

  • Increase our understanding of the essential competencies of true leaders;
  • Enhance our knowledge of the differences between leadership and management;
  • Gain insight into why others would want to follow us;
  • Deepen our awareness of how we relate to and communicate with others; and
  • Gain skills in more effectively relating with others.

Through group discussion, feedback from others, self-reflection and exercises, you will explore your communication style and how that style interacts with and influences others and we will enhance some of our leadership competencies in order to take leadership to the next level.
This session requires some pre-work in the form of the Success Signals Profile©
Trainers: Pamela Miller, Colleen Nicol

August 4th – 9 am – 11:30 am & August 5th – 9 am – 11 am (4.5 hours total)

2nd Year: Maximizing our potential: Understanding our values and our leadership strengths (A) Leadership/Management
This course is required for those who are attending the Academy for the second time

When the things we do and the way we behave and the way we communicate are aligned with our values, we are choosing to live authentically. This session explores how aligned our values are with the choices we make and the impact that alignment (or misalignment) has on our lives. By understanding our core values and connecting them with our behaviors and the choices we make, we gain insight into how effective we are and just how authentically we are living.

We will examine our own personal leadership strengths through an online assessment prior to the start of the session. You will take the online self-assessment, Strengths Finder 2.0™, and look at your strengths through the lens of Strengths Based Leadership©. We’ll look at how we’ve utilized our strengths up to now and spend time understanding how to leverage our strengths for maximum results. We will also explore how our strengths and values are connected and the influence our values may have on our strengths.
This session requires some pre-work in the form of the Strengths Based Leadership assessment©
Trainers: Pamela Miller, Jennifer Woodworth

August 25th – 9 am – 11:30 am & August 26th – 9 am – 11 am (4.5 hours total)

Advanced: The Power of Presence (A) Leadership
This course is for those who are attending the Academy three or more times

Presence – the way we move through the world – is our essence. Every day we have opportunities to persuade, influence, motivate, attract or inspire others through our presence. Yet as leaders we sometimes just assume that presence comes along with a job title…and it doesn’t. Our presence is actually directly related to our intentions, thoughts, and actions. Research has shown that to be seen as trusted and credible, our actions must be in alignment with both our stated as well as unstated intentions.

Our goal as leaders is to feel our presence at our very core to ensure that others perceive us as we truly intend. The work in this session is based on Kristi Hedges’ The Power of Presence: Unlock Your Potential to Influence and Engage Others. We will learn about the power of our presence and its impacts. We will determine our unique personal presence brand and increase our awareness of behaviors that affect how our personal presence comes across to others. We will also uncover the negative thoughts that make up our internal conversation and explore ways to deal with them. By the end of this session, our leadership style will be transformed by the expression of our authenticity.
Trainers: Pamela Miller, Wandzia Rose

September 8th – 9 am – 11:30 am & September 9th – 9 am – 11 am (4.5 hours total)

Conducting Successful Meetings in a Virtual and Hybrid World (A) Management/Professional

The way in which local governments conduct meetings has radically changed over the past 14 months. Now that we’ve become good at conducting virtual meetings, we find our agencies are beginning to plan for the inevitable return to in-person meetings – or some hybrid model. Given current legislation in Sacramento, it appears public participation in local government meetings either telephonically or via an internet-based app is likely here to stay even if/when agencies go back to fully meeting in-person. These remote access models are far more challenging to effectively plan and conduct than in-person meetings.

In this session we identify the elements of effective and productive meetings. Each of us brings something to a meeting – assets and liabilities – and things we should leave outside of the meeting. We will explore those things along with your role as a clerk leader, and how you can affect the success of the meeting – whether you are on the dais or in a support role “behind the scenes”. We will cover ways to deal with challenging behaviors experienced in a virtual meeting environment (including those from our own elected officials) and explore ways to calmly address those behaviors. On day two of the session, we will have legal counsel share best legal practices to assist in effectively navigating the muddy waters of virtual and hybrid meetings.
Trainers: Stephanie Smith, Shawna Freels, Pamela Miller, Attorney to be invited

September 22nd – 9 am – 11 am & September 23rd – 9 am – 11 am (4 hours total)

Media relations and the Clerk: Knowing what to say and how to say it (A) Professional

The Clerk’s Office is the hub of local government and is often the first place the public and media go to get information about a variety of current issues and local history. Whether or not your agency has a designated public information officer or media relations specialist, you need to know how to effectively and confidently communicate key messages to the public, elected officials, reporters and other media representatives about important topics, including election-related matters, controversial agenda items and extraordinary events – as they happen.

This session will provide you with an overview of trends in news media relations and is packed full of practical tools for learning what to say, when to say it and how to say it. You will have the opportunity to practice strategies for preparing and delivering key messages, learn how to stay calm and in control, and gain skills to help you tell your story with poise. You will walk away from this session with useful tips for dealing with eager reporters, concerned citizens and anxious elected officials with style and self-assurance.
Trainers: Patrice Olds, Samantha Weigel, PIO

October 13th – 9 am – 12 pm (3 hours total)

Diversity Uncovered™ (B) Leadership

Implicit Bias and Microaggressions are terms that often trigger fear, anxiety, and defensiveness from people as they try to make sense of what these terms mean and do everything in their power to not be associated with them. This session was designed to help people deconstruct these terms and build a framework to talk about both conscious, intentional discrimination and unconscious, unintentional discrimination. This session will take you on a journey of self-awareness and empathy-building that starts by addressing fears and concerns that exist around talking to staff about discrimination. You will then learn the difference between unconscious and conscious discrimination and explore challenges with identifying and interrupting them. You’ll leave the session with common knowledge of diversity terms, practice talking about discrimination and challenges with one another, and get helpful tools and tips to address discrimination in the workplace.
Trainer: Tiffany Hoang, Co-Founder and Executive Synergist, CircleUp Education

October 20th – 9 am – 11 am (2 hours total)

Academy Community Session and Review (1 hr A / 1 hr B)

This session will focus on wrapping up all of your Academy experiences, insights gained and the skills you enhanced. Through individual and group exercises and discussions, you will access collective intelligence that will enable you to take your learning to a more effective level.