Idaho Sen. Stennett chosen for Western Legislative Academy

Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, will attend the November academy for legislators in their first four years of service. Stennett was elected to two-year terms in 2010 and 2012. She was among 39 applicants in a pool of 114 selected for the four-day session in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The training is sponsored by the Council of State Governments West, which operates in 13 states. The session are funded by the Colorado Springs-based El Pomar Foundation.

A news release from Stennett follows:

Senator Michelle Stennett Selected for 2013 Western Legislative Academy

Ketchum – The Council of State Governments-WEST (CSG-WEST), a non-partisan, non-profit organization serving state legislators in 13 Western states, has selected Idaho State Senator Michelle Stennett as a participant in its prestigious training institute for lawmakers in their first four years of service. The purpose of the Western Legislative Academy is to foster excellence and effectiveness in state lawmakers in the Western region.

Admission to the Western Legislative Academy is very competitive and based on a commitment to public service, a desire to improve personal legislative effectiveness and an interest in improving the overall legislative process. Of the 114 applicants from throughout the West, only 39 legislators were chosen to be members of the Western Legislative Academy’s Class of 2013.

The Western Legislative Academy will convene November 13-16, 2013 in Colorado Springs, Colorado for three and a half days of intensive training in subjects including legislative institutions, ethics, communications, negotiations, time management and leadership. Faculty is drawn from academia, retired military and the private sector. A highlight of the training is an afternoon at the US Air Force Academy working on personal assessments and team building.

Senator Stennett is serving her second term in the Idaho State Senate representing District 26 which encompasses Blaine, Camas, Gooding and Lincoln Counties. After only one term in office, Senator Stennett was elected to her current leadership position as Senate Minority Leader. She serves on the Senate’s State Affairs and Resources & Environment Committees as well as several interim committees.

Funding for the Academy comes from the Colorado Springs-based El Pomar Foundation, which is dedicated to excellence in non-profit organizations, and from Western state legislatures and corporate sponsors. The El Pomar Foundation also donates their campus for the Western Legislative Academy.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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