The Key West Ambassadors Academy graduated its 39th class during this week's City Commission meeting. They join more than 600 citizens who now have a better insight into the workings of City government. Each class of the Key West Ambassadors Academy has been a special blend of dedicated, involved citizens.
During the City Commission meeting, Class Representative Jordan Upchurch commended the City staff who made the class possible.
Through the 13-week experience, he said, “I discovered the spirit of One Human Family extends far beyond my circle of friends and reaches into the heart of the City of Key West.”
Speaking for the class, Upchurch said, “Two words universally describe City employees: hardworking and caring. Key West is incredibly fortunate to have such a dedicated workforce that tirelessly strives to solve and prevent problems for our citizens every single day."
Four current city leaders – Mayor Teri Johnston, Commissioners Clayton Lopez, Sam Kauffman, and Lissette Cuervo Carey – were elected after finishing this program. Other alumni have served as commissioners as well as sitting on a variety of other City boards.
The Key West Ambassadors Academy was established in 2003 by then-City Manager Julio Avael. Class 40 is slated to begin in mid-January. Applications will be available the first week in December on the City's website.
In the photo from L to R: Kneeling: Brian Bradley, Navy Command Master Chief Josh Joiner, Ralph and Stacie Gleason, Alan Nations, Jen Menendez, Navy Capt. Beth Regoli, and Matt Puppich.
Standing: City Manager Al Childress; Brandy Lewis; Commissioners Mary Lou Hoover, Lissette Carey, and Jimmy Weekley; Jordan Upchurch; Mayor Teri Johnston; Facilitatory Alyson Crean; Vice Mayor Sam Kaufman; Commissioner Billy Wardlow; Greg and Stephanie Gordan; and Valarie Vanse.
Class members not pictured: Cori Convertito, Joanne Garzarella, Jacqueline Luhta, and Lynn Smith.