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Gutknecht: Leading with a servant's heart

There I was, it was Thursday afternoon and I found myself in The Center for Community Preservation in the heart of Newton County. After almost three years of employment with your favorite community newspaper, I found myself in a room that I've been in 100 times before. 

This time was different. 

Thursday afternoon I officially went through orientation to be a member of the 2019-2020 Leadership Newton County class. With this year's theme of "Servant Leadership," I am beyond excited to get started. 

As I go through the yearlong LNC class, I plan to share my experience in the program and what it offers for our community. 

If you haven't heard of it before, LNC is a Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce sponsored event. It runs from August to May and offers local leaders the opportunity to not only learn more about the community they call home, but also give back in a meaningful way. 

I'm going to be honest with you. When I sat down and looked over this year's scheduled courses, I was a little concerned that I wouldn't get that much out of the class. Once a month we will meet for an entire business day to learn about one section of our community - whether it be law enforcement, government or economic development. Well, after three years of working with The Covington News, I feel as if I have a pretty good grasp on these topics. 

I learned Thursday, however, that all of my expectations should be thrown out the window. 

I met business and community leaders who I had never even seen before and I know that throughout the year we will continue to build a professional relationship that cannot be matched. Sure, I may hear some repetitive information, but I can almost guarantee that this year's class will bring new experiences for me and everyone else involved. 

I look forward to sharing this journey with you throughout the class year and gaining new experiences along the way. 

Jackie Gutknecht is the editor and publisher of The Covington News. Her email is Twitter: @jackieg1991