Finney speaks with Williams Leadership Academy students

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State Sen. Raymond Finney took time to hang out with some Maryville and Alcoa students recently during a weekly meeting of the Richard Williams Leadership Development Academy at the Alcoa City Center.

Academy director George Williams, brother of the late county commissioner and namesake of the academy, said Finney did a listening and speaking session with the members of the academy. "We wanted him to speak about integrity in public service. That’s what he was doing that night," George Williams said.

"They talked to him about what a senator does, how he’s elected and they of course wanted to know about his other job, which was as a pathologist," Williams said of Finney. "We’re going to schedule a day on the (state capitol) hill during spring break," Williams said. "He invited them to come down and be his guests on the hill."

The academy class this year is made up of students from Alcoa and Maryville middle and high schools. The academy is a youth development initiative of the Church of God in Christ which partners with area school systems to develop leadership skills among students. The classes meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays at the Alcoa City Center.

For more information, call George Williams at 865- 379-6480.

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