A self-described Type A nerd keeps the courtroom under control.
Title: Court Administrator/President of National Association for Court Management
Now resides in: Benton
Degree and year of graduation: Associate of Science, Office Administration (1981), Bachelor of General Studies, Business Administration (1988), Master of Business Administration (1992), Master of Arts, Industrial/Organizational Psychology (1994)
How I became NACM president: To become president of the National Association for Court Management (NACM), I had to be elected to serve on the board of directors for three years and then be elected to serve on the officer track, first as secretary treasurer, vice-president, president-elect and president. Because of an eight-year commitment (I must after this year serve as immediate past president), it requires considerable support from my judges, staff and family.
How I got to Tech: I was the first of eight children in my family to attend college; six of my siblings are older than I am. Several of my high school teachers that I admired attended Tech, and I aspired to attend the same university. I met my soon-to-be Harper dorm roommate at an after-school job we worked together, and it seemed to be the logical move. I received a band scholarship and business scholarship, which in addition to my Louisiana National Guard tuition exemption, helped pay my way through school.
How Tech prepared me for my current position: At first, not knowing what I wanted to pursue, I only received my associate's degree. I was fortunate to have landed a job as an official court reporter, a position I maintained for 15 years. Because I'm a “Type A” nerd, I continued my education, first receiving my bachelor's degree, and then later two master's, all from Tech. Court systems across the country had grown to the extent that there was a need for court administration. Our court created the position in 1993, and because of my court experience and advanced degrees, the judges hired me to fill the position first as deputy court administrator, and then in 1996 as the court administrator. I have served there since that time.
An average day on the job: There is no "average" day on my job. Although I handle the administrative functions of the court such as human resources, budget and finance, schedules and court calendars, there have been many other interesting facets associated with the position of court administrator. As new technology is developed to make courts run more efficiently, it is my job to stay apprised of that information and to pass it on to judges and other departments that have contact with the court system. Additionally, innovative programs such as drug courts, juvenile justice reform, domestic violence courts, and numerous other burning issues require judges and administrators to remain educated in these fields. On a lighter note, with the filming industry gaining popularity in north Louisiana, a movie starring Michael Douglas, “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt,” was filmed in our courthouse. I had the privilege of working closely with the location manager and crew and the pleasure of meeting members of the cast, including Mr. Douglas.
If I've learned one thing in life, it's: Actually I've learned several things, and I'm still learning. If I had to limit it to one, it's to forgive and never burn bridges. You only hurt yourself by harboring negative feelings.
Advice to incoming freshmen: Take advantage of every opportunity afforded you at school so that you won't have regrets later in life.
Favorite memories of Tech: I enjoyed being in the marching band and going to football games!