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County official helps win award

A mapping official with the Lincoln County Tax Department helped win an annual award for the State of North Carolina through her professionalism and continuing education.
Janet Spears received a designation, making her the eighth person to receive a qualification in the state.
North Carolina had the highest number of designees in 2006. This qualified the state to win the award called the Virginia Cup.
“We had the most this year, that is why we brought home the cup,” Spears said.
The designation recognizes Spears’ professionalism and competency in Cadestral Mapping techniques.
Spears first received her CMS designation through the International Association of Assessing Officers.
Receiving a designation is not a requirement, but is urged by all assessors.
“Pursuing this is something they do on their own time,” said Tax Administrator Madge Huffman. “It’s on their own time and we support them.”
With three years of mapping experience, Spears works in the mapping department as the land records manager.
In order to receive her designation, Spears completed several courses and exams, which took her between 18-24 months to finish.
“The hardest part was finding the classes,” she said. “They’re not frequently given.”
Spears said she completed four courses, some lasting three weeks, in addition to an eight-hour mapping exam and a four-hour master exam, which were completed by hand.
“Once that was done, I received my designation,” she said.
Seven other individuals in North Carolina also received designations in other areas.
“We helped pushed North Carolina over the top,” Spears said. “I am proud because I’m the 65th individual in the nation to get this designation.”
North Carolina won the Virginia Cup in 2006 with the eight designees and this week the tax department holds its share of the cup.
“We each get to hold it a certain amount of time,” Spears said of the seven other designees who share the award with her.
Named after the state, the Virginia Association of Assessing Officers posed a challenge against other states in 1990 in order to increase the number of designees to promote professionalism.
“We’re very proud of Janet,” Huffman said.
by Maribeth Kiser

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