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Posted on: March 23, 2021

Residents graduate from 2021 Citizens Academy, earn recognition

Woman holding plaque poses with three other people.

PHOTO #1: From left, City Manager Jesús A. Garza, Mayor Pro Tem Josephine Soliz, Citizens Academy participant Debbie Pilsner and Communications & Public Affairs Director Ashley Strevel pose for a photo March 18 at the final 2021 Citizens Academy session. Pilsner was recognized as a Distinguished Citizen for completing Citizens Academy, the Civilian Police Academy and the Civilian Fire Academy/Civilian Responder Program.

Woman holding plaque poses with three other people.PHOTO #2: From left, City Manager Jesús A. Garza, Mayor Pro Tem Josephine Soliz, Citizens Academy participant Jeanette Laza and Communications & Public Affairs Director Ashley Strevel pose for a photo March 18 at the final 2021 Citizens Academy session. Laza was recognized as a Distinguished Citizen for completing Citizens Academy, the Civilian Police Academy and the Civilian Fire Academy/Civilian Responder Program.

Woman holding plaque poses with three other people.PHOTO #3: From left, City Manager Jesús A. Garza, Mayor Pro Tem Josephine Soliz, Citizens Academy participant Sherry Husak and Communications & Public Affairs Director Ashley Strevel pose for a photo March 18 at the final 2021 Citizens Academy session. Husak was recognized as a Distinguished Citizen for completing Citizens Academy, the Civilian Police Academy and the Civilian Fire Academy/Civilian Responder Program.

Five people sit at spaced-apart tables at the front of a ballroom. A woman stands at a podium.PHOTO #4: Members of the Victoria City Council participate in a panel discussion March 18 at the final session of the 2021 Citizens Academy.

The City of Victoria Communications & Public Affairs on March 18 hosted the final session of the 2021 Citizens Academy, a program that provides information and resources to engage residents and promote good citizenship, at the Victoria College Emerging Technology Complex.

“We had a very engaged group of participants this year, and I’m proud of them for taking time out of their schedules to learn more about the City,” said Communications & Public Affairs Director Ashley Strevel. “Our hope is that all of the participants will continue to stay connected with us, get involved and act as ambassadors by sharing their knowledge with other residents.”

During the eight-week program, leaders from various City departments and partner organizations taught the 17 participants about their local government. At the March 18 session, participants watched informative videos featuring City leaders, heard the program’s final presentations and participated in a question-and-answer panel with members of the City Council.

After the panel, residents participated in a brief graduation ceremony and received certificates acknowledging their participation in Citizens Academy. Select participants also received additional recognition for participating in weekly “Check It Out Challenges” during the program.

Residents who completed Citizens Academy, the Civilian Police Academy and the Civilian Fire Academy/Civilian Responder Program were honored as Distinguished Citizens and received plaques. Debbie Pilsner, Jeanette Laza and Sherry Husak received plaques March 18, and Lisa Imhoff will receive a plaque at an upcoming City Council meeting.

The next Citizens Academy is expected to take place in fall 2022. Residents are encouraged to follow the City of Victoria on Facebook at City of Victoria, Texas – Government and subscribe to The City View to receive notifications when registration opens. Attendance historically has been limited to 20 participants.

To view photos and videos from the final session, visit www.victoriatx.gov/ca2021

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