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Posted 12/11/2018

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By Ashley Webster
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 10, 2018) – Maj. Justin Toole, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District deputy district commander, commended 13 graduates of the 2018 Supervisor Training Program during a ceremony Dec. 4 at the district headquarters.

“It is a sacred thing to be a supervisor,” said Toole.  “You are influencing another human being as a beginning or midlevel supervisor.  This is an important part in your career where you have this opportunity.”

Over the course of nine, four-hour sessions, the participants became knowledgeable on topics such as personnel management, hiring employees, developmental teams, and project management. The program is new to the Nashville District with this class marking its second group of beginning and midlevel supervisors to complete it.

“I hope each graduate leaves with the tools and fundamental skills from this class to make them a more efficient and effective supervisor,”  said Freddie Bell, chief of Natural Resource Management and one of the six program overseers and founding members.

Before the graduation precession, Cara Beverly, a member of the Critical Incident Stress Management team, gave the group an inside look on the peer driven stress management program and what a supervisor can do to help facilitate guidance when an employee or peer is in a time of need. A crisis response is an individual’s response to an event or series of events where psychological balance is disrupted.  

“Stress is in our everyday lives, and we are here to help people recover quickly from accumulated stress or critical events that occur at work or at home. There is a direct connection between stress, one’s health, and productivity so be aware of the stress in your office and in your work force,” said Beverly.  “Our focus is on critical incidents, but accumulated stress is just as detrimental as one event.  We are trying to take care and help fellow Corps family.”

Next David Claussen, Equal Employment Opportunity specialist, spoke to the class educating supervisors on the methods and avenues they can follow when an employee is requesting a reasonable accommodation.  On occasion, supervisors may have to make sure essential functions can be met with certain equipment or adjustments for an employee.

“An employee can bring a written request to an immediate supervisor, chain of command, Human Resources Office, or Equal Employment Opportunity Office,” said Claussen.  “Once medical documentation is reviewed and immediately returned to the employee a checklist will be completed and sent to the Equal Employee Opportunity Office. Only the Commander of the Nashville District can deny a reasonable accommodation.”

Following lunch, a leadership panel gave advice and shared philosophies they have gained during their careers.  The upper level supervisors who took time out of their daily duties to sit in on the leadership panel were Heather Turner, Nashville District Contracting Division chief, Diane Parks, Nashville District chief of Operations, and Toole.

Turner shared with the class that she likes to utilize staff to get their thoughts on issues or changes, and feels a supervisor who makes decisions with their blinders on may not make the best choice for the group every time.

Parks advised the group of supervisors that it’s a good idea to take the whole picture in and look at all the facets for each situation.

A participant in this year’s class, Craig Carrington Plan Formation chief, felt the Supervisory Training Program had a great range of topics and discussions for real life situations for supervisors.  The nine month program was also a great opportunity for supervisors to foster relationships with peers across the district.

To culminate the ceremony, Toole presented graduates with framed certificates, an oak acorn and an impacting thought. 

“You find out more at the oak tree,” said Toole. “At the end of the day it’s a one on one relationship with people.  Grow some great trees and set some deep roots.”

The 2018 Supervisory Training Program graduates are Craig Carrington, Harold Deskins, Gary Fleeman, Bobby Holt, Jonathan Jarrett, Mary Keith, Jason Klinger, Brad Long, Wayne Long, Marlin Metzger, Cory Morgan, Jesse Pullen, and Kevin Salvilla.

 (The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps, and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.)


beginning supervisor Bobby Holt Bobby Jackson Brad Long Cara Beverly chief of natural resources Chief of Operations CISM Contracting Division chief Cory Morgan Craig Carrington Critical Incident Stress Management David Claussen Deputy District Commander Diane Parks District Office EEO equal employment opportunity Freddie Bell Gary Fleeman Harold Deskins Heather Turner Jason Klinger Jesse Pullen Jonathan Jarrett Kevin Salvilla leadership Lisa Abernathy Maj. Justin Toole Marlin Metzger Mary Keith midlevel supervisor Nashville District oak acorn Reasonable Accommodation session staff STP Supervisor Training Program Supervisory Training Program U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE Wayne Long