The Sherman Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications for its new Leadership Sherman class through July 2.


Leadership Sherman offers a professional development opportunity for men and women either living or working in Grayson County. Its purpose is to educate the participants about Sherman’s history, schools, government, social and economic issues, and community vision, preparing them to contribute to the growth and quality of life of the area.


“The program itself really provides leadership training and leadership information,” Chamber President Eddie Brown said. “They also get to know leaders in our community, whether it be at the city level or the medical level or we (also) have an education day. They meet all of those folks as well and they get to understand a little bit about what goes on and the differences let’s say between the city and the educational facilities.”


The class runs from September through May with attendees taking part in a different themed class each month. In addition to an overnight trip to Austin to meet with members of the legislature, the Leadership Sherman class will spend different days learning about city government, county government, economic development, the medical community and more.


“The county day seems to be one of the favorites,” Brown said. “We spend a big part of the day at the county courthouse and we’ll hear from either the county judge or a county commissioner. With the sheriff, we toured the county jail, which is always interesting. Then typically, if the schedules work out, we’ll spend part of the afternoon at the federal courthouse and the federal magistrate’s court as well. Not many people in our community get to see some of those things.”


The fee for this year’s program is $600 for each person and that covers the cost of speakers, educational materials, travel expenses and the costs of shirts, meals and lodging. Brown said he expects this year’s class will have between 25 and 30 participants.


In addition to the learning opportunities and leadership training, each year’s Leadership Sherman group undertakes a class project that is typically finished around the time the class members graduate from the course in May. Last year, the Leadership Sherman class built free, little libraries throughout the community and then this year’s class commissioned a large mural on Wall Street done by local artist Sarah Duran. Brown said he’s been “very impressed” with the class projects the leadership groups have done.


“We typically explain some of the past projects to the group during orientation in September, and we ask them, before the following meeting, to work together and come up with what they think would be a good project for our community and their class,” Brown said. “The last two have been really a little out of the ordinary from what you might think. We’ll see what the upcoming class has to decide for their project.”


Brown explained in addition to coming up with a concept, each year’s Leadership Sherman class also raises money to complete the project.


“It’s a great opportunity for all of those in the class to work together to take on different roles and see the project from the start to the finish during their time in the program itself,” Brown said. “(They’ve had) really great ideas and made a big impact on our community.”


Prospective participants may apply for the 2018-2019 Leadership Sherman program by July 2 at http://shermanchamber.us/community/the-city/leadership-sherman/.