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Supreme Court Recognition Program

2009

Outstanding Probation Employee (Jean Miller Memorial Award for Probation Support Staff)

Candace Downey, Office Manager of Probation District 2. Candace was nominated by Chief Probation Officer Kathryn Liebers, who stated in her nomination letter, “although some may consider her career with probation brief, she has exemplified professionalism, exceptional levels of productivity and efficiency, and diligently worked and streamlined office practices, policies and procedures. Candace is a leader in the office and a champion of staff and offenders alike. Candace does not hesitate to provide well considered input. She does not hesitate to congratulate probation clients on “jobs well done,” or successes they have experienced. She treats all offenders and staff with respect, recognizing and appreciating diversity.” On behalf of the Nebraska Supreme Court Awards Committee, we congratulate Candace Downey as the recipient of the 2009 Jean Miller Memorial Award. In addition to a lunch with the Supreme Court Chief Justice and the State Probation Administrator, Candace will receive a $250 cash award.

Outstanding Probation Officer (LaDonna Snell Probation Officer Award)

Tina Luz, Senior Probation Officer of Probation District 7. Tina was nominated by Carol Boysen, Senior Secretary, and Jolene Ritterbush, Probation Officer. Carol Boysen stated in her nomination letter, “I have typed many letters which I felt were giving the probationers a second chance at completing their probation requirements. She is always working with them to help them better their lives and leave probation with a better sense of direction for their future. And yet, she is firm in letting each probationer know what is expected from them and answer the consequences if they choose not to abide by the terms of their probation order.” Jolene Ritterbush states, “Since I have been a probation officer, Tina has continued to be a role model for me and is willing to help me with all my questions. She is a dedicated probation officer to her clients and her job responsibilities, as Tina is willing to do whatever it takes to get her job done in an efficient, timely, and professional manner. As there have been changes in probation over the last few years, Tina has had a willingness to adapt to the new ways of probation and has continued to be dedicated to her work, have exceptional efficiency, and superior performance.” On behalf of the Nebraska Supreme Court Awards Committee, we congratulate Tina Luz as the recipient of the 2009 LaDonna Snell Memorial Award. In addition to a lunch with the Supreme Court Chief Justice and the State Probation Administrator, Tina will receive a $250 cash award.   

Outstanding Court Supervisor / Administrative Employee

Kathy J. Jones, Red Willow County Court Clerk Magistrate in Judicial District 11. Kathy was nominated by Anne Paine, County Judge. According to Judge Paine, “Kathy has built a team of people in our office who are friendly, dedicated, and efficient. This is in large part to her leadership skills. Kathy tackles every obstacle with a calm reasoning to find a workable solution. She arranges meetings with the staff and myself to discuss where the strengths and weaknesses are in the office and tailors the skills of individual staff members to maximize their particular strengths and interests. She spends time working with new staff members to make sure that they not only know how to perform their job but also that they feel comfortable with their tasks. Members of the staff have described Kathy as being ‘awesome” at training.’” On behalf of the Nebraska Supreme Court Awards Committee, we congratulate Kathy J. Jones as the recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Court Supervisor/Administrative Employee. In addition to a lunch with the Supreme Court Chief Justice and the State Court Administrator, Kathy will receive a $250 cash award.    

Outstanding Probation Supervisor (Bob Keller Memorial Award for Probation Supervisor)

Cliff Wolf, Chief Deputy Probation Officer of Probation District 1. Cliff was nominated by Steve Rowoldt, Acting Deputy Probation Administrator. Steve states in his nomination letter that “specifically Cliff demonstrates leadership in attitude and action by embracing probation’s new evidence-based principles and incorporating them into his daily activities. Cliff could easily maintain his position with thoughts of retirement in the not too distant future. However, rather than focusing on retirement Cliff stepped up and stepped out of his everyday duties to be at the forefront of Probation’s statewide initiatives for quality assurance, re-design of the management information system and field services programming. Cliff’s work has been instrumental in the initial designs of quality measurements for presentence investigations and probation supervision practices which will ultimately be utilized statewide.” On behalf of the Nebraska Supreme Court Awards Committee, we congratulate Cliff Wolf as the 2009 recipient of the Bob Keller Memorial Award. In addition to a lunch with the Supreme Court Chief Justice and the State Probation Administrator, Cliff will receive a $250 cash award.    

Outstanding Customer Service Award

Janet (Jan) Malone, Administrative Secretary with the State Court Administrator. Jan was nominated by Janet Bancroft, Eileen Janssen, Kathy Moore and Catherine Corbet of the Administrative Offices of the Court and Probation (AOCP). In their nomination letter, they write “Jan played a leading role in seeing the AOCP/Publications form was effectively automated providing immediate online ordering for court staff. She stuck with the project, despite the numerous setbacks caused by false emails, bad orders and unknown quirks. The project is the first of its kind developed through Nebraska.gov. It has proved to be a successful venture in every sense of the word.” On behalf of the Nebraska Supreme Court Awards Committee, we congratulate Jan Malone as the 2009 recipient of the Outstanding Customer Service Award. In addition to a lunch with the Supreme Court Chief Justice and the State Court Administrator, Jan will receive a $250 cash award.    

Janet (Jan) Malone, Administrative Secretary with the State Court Administrator. Jan was nominated by Janet Bancroft, Eileen Janssen, Kathy Moore and Catherine Corbet of the Administrative Offices of the Court and Probation (AOCP). In their nomination letter, they write “Jan played a leading role in seeing the AOCP/Publications form was effectively automated providing immediate online ordering for court staff. She stuck with the project, despite the numerous setbacks caused by false emails, bad orders and unknown quirks. The project is the first of its kind developed through Nebraska.gov. It has proved to be a successful venture in every sense of the word.” On behalf of the Nebraska Supreme Court Awards Committee, we congratulate Jan Malone as the 2009 recipient of the Outstanding Customer Service Award. In addition to a lunch with the Supreme Court Chief Justice and the State Court Administrator, Jan will receive a $250 cash award.    

Innovation Award

Tenth Judicial District Clerk Magistrates (Members are Thomas Hawes, Julie Bergen, Jolene Duffy, Cindy Carrigan, Christine Gilpin, Sandy Medinger, Randell Eckhoff, Diane Wehrman and Darrie Streeter.) They were nominated by Jolene Duffy, Clerk Magistrate. In her nomination letter, Magistrate Duffy writes, “I believe the Magistrates are deserving due to two amazing technology opportunities that we bestowed upon the Tenth Judicial District in the form of a virtual web site called Wiki and web cams.” She adds that “better communication within promotes better service to our public.” On behalf of the Nebraska Supreme Court Awards Committee, we congratulate the Tenth Judicial District Magistrates as the 2009 recipient of the Innovation Award. In addition to a lunch with the Supreme Court Chief Justice and the State Court Administrator, the Tenth Judicial District Magistrates will share a $750 cash award.  

Outstanding Team

Nebraska Probation Officer Safety Trainers – Omaha Metro Area Team. (Members are Darci Poland, Ryan Mahnke, Tammy Peterson, Eric Theisen, Abby Kossow, Cortney Dail, DaVann Hallman, Julie McKinney, and Kyle Estes.) They were nominated by Mary Visek, Chief Deputy Probation Officer of Probation District Four. In her nomination letter, Chief Deputy Visek writes, “These officer safety trainers were trained at the Grand Island Law Enforcement Training Academy, then prepared, scheduled and facilitated training at the Omaha Police and Fire training facility for all area staff (about 175 people). After the training sessions were completed, the trainers then evaluated their process and assessed results from participants' surveys. This was a huge undertaking, and required hours of time in addition to their regular duties. The trainers accommodated differences in employee job duties, physical abilities and levels of experience. The quality of training, according to participants, was the best safety training that has ever been provided.” On behalf of the Nebraska Supreme Court Awards Committee, we congratulate the Nebraska Probation Officer Safety Trainers – Omaha Metro Area Team as the 2009 recipient of the Innovation Award. In addition to a lunch with the Supreme Court Chief Justice and the State Probation Administrator, the team will share a $1000 cash award.  

Employee of the Year

Jan Culver, Deputy Clerk of the Supreme Court/Court of Appeals Clerk’s Office. Jan was nominated by Lanet Asmussen of the Supreme Court, who stated in her nomination letter, “Jan exhibits the characteristics and skills of an outstanding employee each day she comes to work. She is punctual, loyal, and devoted to her work and the court system. Her interaction with the rest of the staff is positive and she helps keep morale high while performing her assigned supervisory duties. Jan treats her fellow professionals and public equally. All are shown courtesy and respect. The patience and understanding she exhibits when dealing with stressful situations is something all should strive to achieve.” On behalf of the Nebraska Supreme Court Awards Committee, we congratulate Jan Culver as the 2009 recipient of the Employee of the Year Award. In addition to a lunch with the Supreme Court Chief Justice and the State Court Administrator, Jan will receive a $500 cash award.