KEARNEY — Myra Stoney, health director for the Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department, was one of 29 county officials and affiliates representing 14 counties and two public health departments who received Certificates of Achievement for their participation in the Nebraska Association County Officials Institute of Excellence.

The Institute of Excellence is a collaboration between NACO and the University of Nebraska. It provides leadership development for elected, appointed and tangential county officials.

The officials were honored during a presentation at NACO’s annual conference Dec. 11 in Kearney. Stoney was awarded a certificate by Nebraska Extension Associate Research and Extension Director Dr. Jon Westra and NACO President and Lancaster County Commissioner, Deb Schorr.

The institute includes face-to-face workshops in North Platte and Lincoln. The face-to-face sessions were taught by faculty from Nebraska Extension, the UNL Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication and the UNO Center for Public Affairs Research, as well as Larry Dix, NACO’s executive director.

According to the program’s co-coordinator, Nebraska Extension educator Jessica Jones, “the Institute provides county officials an opportunity to learn more about themselves as leaders to better serve their counties and constituencies.”

Since 2010 the Institutes of Excellence have been open to all county officials. Information and registration materials for the 2020 program can be found on the Nebraska Association of County Officials website, For more information about Nebraska Extension leadership programs, contact Jessica Jones at or 402-335-3669.

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