On May 16, the Waukee Leadership Institute recognized the class of 2013. The WLI graduated 16 class members that attended nine sessions over the past nine months. The curriculum over the nine months included the following: Introduction to Leadership, Leadership & Leadership Styles, City Leadership & Relationships, Leading Professionally, School Leadership & Collaboration, Economic Development, the Waukee Business Community and Business Ethics.

Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz gave the commencement address. During his comments he talked about the importance of being involved in ones community, and community service. "You don’t have to be an elected official to make a difference," said Secretary Schultz. He encouraged all of the graduates to get involved, and stay involved in their community.

The graduates of the Waukee Leadership Institute class of 2013 have taken on a class project to fund and build an amphitheater in Waukee’s Centennial Park. The estimated cost of the project is $250,000. A fundraising effort has already begun, and it was announced at the graduation ceremony that AVIVA USA had contributed $5,000 towards the project.

At the graduation dinner, Waukee School Board Member and WLI class of 2007 graduate Larry Lyon was awarded to 2013 Alumnus of the Year award. Current class member, Rick Peterson, was awarded the 2013 President’s Award. The Presidents Award is awarded each year to a student that has shown exemplary leadership in the class. It was also announced that a book would be donated to the Waukee Public Library in honor of our Secretary of State, Matt Schultz, for his willingness to address the graduates. The book, "Robert D. Ray – An Iowa Treasure," will be donated to the Waukee Library. The book, which was just published and benefits the Keep Iowa Beautiful program, is a photographic journey of the life and travels of former Iowa Governor Robert Ray.

Also at the dinner, outgoing President Randy Yontz was recognized for his service as President of the Waukee Leadership Institute. Randy served as President from 2009-2013. He was awarded a plaque from the WLI Board of Directors, and an award and gift from past class members of the WLI. It was announced that Dallas County Recorder, Chad Airhart would be the 2013/2014 President of the WLI and that McKinlee Gibson will be the incoming President. Kathy Hull will remain as the Treasurer of the WLI.

Incoming Waukee Leadership Institute President Chad Airhart said, "the Waukee community owes a debt of gratitude to Randy Yontz for helping to foster and grow the Waukee Leadership Institute these past 4 years. The greater Waukee community is better off because of this organization and Randy Yontz. Randy leaves big shoes for myself and every other the will follow as President of this organization. However, I am confident that because of the Waukee Leadership Institutes work, we will have strong leaders to carry Waukee forward for years to come."

For more information on the Waukee Leadership Institute, please visit www.waukeeleadership.org.