Virtual ‘Ocean Pines Academy’ Seeks To Educate Community

OCEAN PINES – Residents could soon have an opportunity to expand their understanding of the Ocean Pines Association.

General Manager John Viola said at this month’s meeting of the Ocean Pines Association (OPA) board of directors that he’d been tasked with putting together an “Ocean Pines Academy.” He said he was working with Julie Malinowski, OPA’s marketing coordinator, on the initiative, which will give residents a chance to learn more about OPA.

“I believe it is important,” Viola said, adding that an outline of the program had been prepared and the next step would be to review it with OPA’s various departments.

Malinowski said this week that the program was still being developed and officials weren’t yet sure what the final product would look like.

“Something of this nature was held several years earlier, under General Manager Bob Thompson, so this will be a reintroduction of that idea,” Malinowski said. “It’s essentially a way to make residents of Ocean Pines aware of the many facets of the association, and will also hopefully be something that can be used for board and advisory committee recruitment and training.”

In 2016, OPA hosted a residents’ academy that provided participants with information about the homeowners association and its amenities, finances, emergency services and public works department. At least 30 people attended the academy, which management at the time said was meant to educate community members at a detailed level.

Malinowski said that because of COVID-19, it was likely the upcoming academy would be held virtually.

“It will probably be virtual, but we’re still examining whether or not we’ll be able to add an in-person component,” she said.

Malinowski said the program was still in the planning phase and that it was too soon for people to begin signing up. She added, however, that pre-registration wouldn’t be necessary if the academy was held entirely online.

“…as it’s a work in progress more details should be forthcoming in the next few weeks,” she said.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.