Student Leadership Academy


Purpose — Service — Determination — Influence

The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office (ECSO) Student Leadership Academy (SLA) was started in 2011.  The mission of the SLA is to provide a unique, practical, and educational experiences for future leaders of Etowah County, Alabama.

Program Description

The program is designed to be an intensive leadership development course for Etowah County students who are incoming high school seniors. 

Through a variety of classes, hands on interaction, and guest speakers, students will be introduced to:

    • Fundamental Leadership Principles
    • Personal Development Skills
    • Office of the Alabama Sheriff
    • Knowledge of the American Criminal Justice System
    • Career Opportunities in Government and Public service
    • Importance of and How to Develop Lifelong Fitness Habits
    • Interview and Job Application Skills

The weeklong event will survey the entire criminal justice process from:  law enforcement, the prosecutor, the public defender, the courts, and corrections.  The course will discuss the history and philosophy of the system and introduces various career opportunities.

Benefit to Student Participants 

In addition to the knowledge and experience gained from the week’s activities, participants will also benefit from:

  • Etowah County Sheriff’s Honorary Deputation
  • Program Completion Diploma
  • Future School/Job Reference Letter from Sheriff Horton
  • 3 hours of College Credit from Jacksonville State University
  • Possible Scholarship Opportunities 
  • Lasting Friendships and Memories

Location, Schedule, and Instructors

The SLA is based out of the ECSO Headquarters, located on Forrest Avenue in Gadsden.  Practical exercises will occur in the field throughout Etowah County.  Student’s stay overnight throughout the week and lodging is provided.  Participants are closely supervised by ECSO staff members.  

The tentative date is typically the last week of June each year.  Orientation begins on Sunday afternoon.  Each day starts with a class and activity to promote physical fitness.  The schedule is physically and academically demanding, starting at 5:45 a.m. and ending at 9:30 p.m.  The week concludes with graduation on Thursday evening.

Instructors and guest speakers are law enforcement professionals as well as noted leaders in government, business, and civic organizations. 


Candidates must be an incoming high school senior and must be nominated by their current high school principal. 

SLA is open to incoming high school seniors who meet academy requirements of:

  • Nominated by High School Principal
  • Minimum 2.5 Grade Point Average
  • Written Essay
  • Alabama Police Officer’s Standards and Training Commission (APOSTC)  
  • Physical Ability Exam

Each nominee is evaluated based on demonstrated leadership, physical fitness, grade point average, and community service.  Due to the physical activity required, students will be required to submit proof of a physical exam conducted by a licensed physician within the last year.  One male and one female will be accepted from each of the twelve high schools in Etowah County; for a total of twenty-two student participants. 


The ECSO SLA is offered free to students through the generosity of many community sponsors and Sheriff’s Office discretionary funding. Opportunities for sponsor recognition includes: program marketing materials, press releases, internet exposure, and other various options.


Graduates of the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office Student Leadership Academy are considered part of the Sheriff’s Office family.  Their commitment to give up a week in the summer time to be physically and academically challenged says much about the graduates listed on the following pages.  These individuals are great examples of purpose, service, determination, and influence to their peers and our community!  

2011 SLA Graduates
  • Gadsden City – Blake Hall, President
  • Southside – Jessie Gregerson, Chaplain
  • Etowah – Savannah Harper
  • Etowah – Logan McGraw
  • Gadsden City – Portia Sims
  • Gaston – Lindsey Lister
  • Glencoe – Joshua Croy
  • Glencoe – Trey Irwin
  • Hokes Bluff – Jenna Cash
  • Hokes Bluff – Josh Fleming
  • Sardis – Nicole Foster
  • Sardis – Dylan Kelley
  • Southside – Cody Bishop
  • West End – Jessica Lee
  • West End – Micah Moore
  • Westbrook Christian – John Mayfield
  • Westbrook Christian – Peighton Streip
2012 SLA Graduates
  • Gadsden City – Khalid Cannon, President
  • Coosa Christian – Micah Mills, Vice President
  • Gaston – Dustin Gunter, Secretary
  • Glencoe – Savanah Bramblett, Chaplain
  • Coosa Christian – Jonah Mills
  • Etowah – Jamie Hall
  • Gadsden City – Chandricka Johnson
  • Gaston – Taylor Rogers
  • Glencoe – Dalton Chambers
  • Hokes Bluff – Hunter Bryant
  • Hokes Bluff – Ryan Moon
  • Sardis – Tyler Dixon
  • Sardis – Madison Wood
  • Southside – Austin Snyder
  • Southside – Abbey West
  • West End – Taylor Hollingsworth
  • West End – Zack Spiker
2013 SLA Graduates
  • Gaston – Tyler Jennings, President
  • Westbrook Christian – John Maurer, Vice President
  • Glencoe – Hannah Grant, Secretary
  • Glencoe – Rebecca Blakney, Chaplain
  • Coosa Christian – Noell Lipscomb
  • Coosa Christian – Morgan Luttrell
  • Etowah – Dalton Hayes
  • Etowah – Maci Ledbetter
  • Gadsden City – Tiara Macon
  • Gadsden City – Terrell Malone
  • Gaston – Ashlie Sims
  • Hokes Bluff – Adam King
  • Hokes Bluff – Harley Westmoreland
  • Sardis – Blaine Pruitt
  • Sardis – Payton Golden
  • Southside – Austin Criswell
  • Southside – Hannah Phillips
  • West End – Chase Blanton
  • West End – Courtney Oliver
  • Westbrook Christian – Kennedy Vice
2014 SLA Graduates
  • Gadsden City – Harsh Sinha, President
  • Coosa Christian – Bailey Loyd, Vice-President
  • Westbrook Christian – Chris Underwood, Secretary
  • Southside – Taylor Clough, Chaplain
  • Coosa Christian – Drake Burger
  • Etowah – Jennifer Guthery
  • Etowah – Leocardio Domingo
  • Gadsden City – Nolan Boatner
  • Gadsden City – Tansley Lacount
  • Gadsden City – Zack Oglesby
  • Gaston – Darby Samples
  • Gaston – Mason Bishop
  • Glencoe – Joseph Bright
  • Glencoe – Kyle Alexander
  • Hokes Bluff – Mason Wilkinson
  • Hokes Bluff – Noah Click
  • Sardis – Hayley Clements
  • Sardis – Tristan McCurley
  • Southside – Austin Powell
  • West End – Brittany Self
  • West End – Tyler Moody
  • Westbrook Christian – Kaitlyn Maurer
2015 SLA Graduates
  • Gadsden City High School – Bailey Cook, President
  • Coosa Christian School – Georgia Mills, Vice-President
  • West End High School – Alexandria Hallmark, Chaplain
  • Coosa Christian School – Jeremy Ware
  • Etowah High School – Kaylee Fore
  • Etowah High School – Adam Cox
  • Gadsden City High School – Madison Abernathy
  • Gadsden City High School – Neel Sengar
  • Gadsden City High School – Anshumah Sinah
  • Gaston School – Caydance Glenn
  • Gaston School – Taylor Tindall
  • Glencoe High School – Jacob Bradley
  • Glencoe High School – Andrew Lang
  • Hokes Bluff High School – Reagan Sims
  • Hokes Bluff High School – Austin Burchfield
  • Sardis High School – Grace Snead
  • Sardis High School – Kolby Childers
  • Southside High School – Kaleigh Pylant
  • Southside High School – Levi Cox
  • West End High School – Bruce Evans
  • Westbrook Christian School – Barclay Bellew
  • Westbrook Christian School – Sam Blackstock
2016 SLA Graduates
  • Gadsden City High School – La’Marcus Harvey, President
  • Southside High School – Caroline Pope, Vice-President
  • Etowah High School – Emma Grace Jones, Secretary
  • Sardis High School – John Holland, Chaplain
  • Coosa Christian School – Neely Evetts
  • Coosa Christian School – Caleb Garrett
  • Etowah High School – Zachary Bullock
  • Gadsden City High School – Maryangela Lopez-V.
  • Gadsden City High School – Tony Jackson
  • Gaston School – Julie Ballenger
  • Gaston School – Jamie Gibbs
  • Glencoe High School – Erin Ramsey
  • Glencoe High School – Cole Holbrooks
  • Hokes Bluff High School – Kayte Parkerson
  • Hokes Bluff High School – Nathan Boatwright
  • Sardis High School – Madison Whisenant
  • Southside High School – Baylon Fry
  • West End High School – Tamia Timmons
  • West End High School – Hunter Moody
  • Westbrook Christian School – Kearse Ellison
  • Westbrook Christian School – Courtland Vice
2017 SLA Graduates
  • Gadsden City High School- Elijah Campbell, President
  • Glencoe High School- Easton Foreman, Vice President
  • Hokes Bluff High School- Tyler Braswell, Secretary
  • Sardis High School- Hannah Hallmark, Chaplain
  • Coosa Christian- Jackson Justus
  • Coosa Christian- Ashton Mills
  • Etowah High School- Zac Hyde
  • Gadsden City High School- Marquia Adley
  • Gaston High School- Lathon Stewart
  • Gaston High School- Becca Stone
  • Glencoe High School- Addison Rogers
  • Hokes Bluff High School- Emily Gilliland
  • Sardis High School- Logan Scott Gaskin
  • Southside High School- John Mark Weaver
  • Southside High School- Gabrielle Metz
  • West End High School- Jackson Payne Stancil
  • West End High School- Riki Loggins
  • Westbrook Christian-Caeden Godfrey
  • Westbrook Christian- Madelyn Loyd
2018 SLA Graduates
  • Sardis High School- Sarah Beth Hallmark, President
  • Gadsden City High School- Jovie Edwards, Vice President
  • Coosa Christian- Joshua Chase Burger, Secretary
  • Glencoe High School- Abby Powell, Chaplain
  • Coosa Christian- Clair Davidson
  • Etowah High School- Alex Howard
  • Etowah High School- Jaci May
  • Gadsden City High School- Joshua Kelley
  • Gadsden City High School-Lynsy Pearson
  • Gaston High School- Christian Farley
  • Gaston High School- Ashley Tidwell
  • Glencoe High School- Jordan Yancey
  • Hokes Bluff High School- David Vest
  • Hokes Bluff High School- Haley Simpson
  • Sardis High School- Noah Spiker
  • Southside High School- Sam Raines
  • Southside High School- Lauren Hunt
  • West End High School- Jacob Jones
  • Westbrook Christian- Jackson Luttrell
  • Westbrook Christian- Mary Reid Goodwin

Message From the Sheriff

Sheriff Jonathon W HortonWelcome to the Etowah County Sheriff's Office official website. I am pleased you have visited our site and hope you find it informative. It is my Honor to Serve as Your Sheriff. The Sheriff's Office provides law enforcement services to the people of Etowah County through...

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