LONDONDERRY — One program ends and it's time to start again.

The Leadership Londonderry program recently honored its class of "graduates" and is ready to sign up the next group to begin the next session this fall.

Applications are now being accepted for the town and school government informational training program that will run from September through May 2020.

Leadership Londonderry began in 2004 as the result of a Town Council-directed Best Towns Initiative. Residents participating in the initiative identified the need for community members to better understand how the town and school governments work.

Community members Mark Oswald and Pollyann Winslow founded and continue to serve as its independent directors.

The program was resurrected this past year after being suspended in 2011, with the mission to help support community involvement and help residents learn all things Londonderry.

The multi-month program meets monthly with specific topics on the agenda, including public safety, school district operations, history, transportation and economic development among others.

This past session also included a tour of Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

Winslow said the most recent Leadership Londonderry class included many town newcomers and some longtime residents.

"It's fun to have people like that who have experience in the community and bring that to the table, and the newcomers," she said. "You get a nice cross section of the community in the program. The last class was very engaged and it was wonderful."

For the upcoming session in September, Winslow said the class will be 20 members, a good number giving the opportunity for people to participate and interact more in smaller settings and in groups with those presenting on a particular topic.

Presentations may be tightened up a bit for the next session as well, Winslow said, to give enough time for people to ask questions and take part in dialogue about community issues.

"We believe this is a really nice way to help introduce community members to how town and school governments work," Winslow said. "It's so valuable to get people to engage."

With the town changing so much in the years since Leadership Londonderry first began, Winslow said people are very interested in learning about those changes and how the community is growing and evolving.

Winslow said the independent program doesn't fall under any auspices of the town, but has town and school district support providing presenters and information for topics to be covered. Program fees go directly to offset costs of providing dinner at each session for members.

"We want who is interested to step forward," she said. "It's an opportunity to learn."

Leadership Londonderry will be held on the second Thursday of every month, 4 to 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall and other locations around the community. Dinner is provided at each session and the program is open to any Londonderry resident.

Applications may be found online at londonderrynh.org, and should be submitted by June 28. There is a $50 program fee. For information, contact Winslow at 603-421-0635 or Lisa Drabik at ldrabik@londonderrynh.org.

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