Tuesday, May 5, 2015

LAW DAY Honors

     Montgomery County's legal community celebrated Law Day on May 1 with a poignant ceremony in Courtroom A, the ceremonial courtroom.
     Each year, the Montgomery Bar Association recognizes courthouse employees who go "above and beyond" while carrying out their jobs.
     "The Courthouse Employee Award is awarded to a public employee who has provided outstanding service to Montgomery County citizens on a daily basis," Bruce Pancio, president of the Bar Association, told the crowd of more than 100. "The intent is to honor someone who is not not just performing his or her job function but goes above and beyond what the job requires."
     Judge Carolyn T. Carluccio chairs the awards committee and assisted the Bar Association in the selection of employees for the award. This year, the Bar Association selected two courthouse employees for the honor: Mary Boynes, a supervisor in the Clerk of Courts Office, and Margaret "Peg" Carter, administrative assistant to the county's senior judges.
     As Pancio presented Boynes with the award he mentioned that when Judge Carluccio sought recommendations, more than 35 people submitted recommendations on Boynes' behalf. Pancio said he read most of them.
     "Some of the words used to describe Mary were 'helpful, that she volunteers, that she is professional, that she is gracious, that she has an attention to detail and a willingness to help, that people go to her for her professional opinion, for advice,'" Pancio told the crowd. "She is described as the go-to person."
     Boynes, who was accompanied to the ceremony by her husband George, the crier for Judge Steven C. Tolliver Sr., was overwhelmed by the honor and thunderous applause she received.
     "I am surprised and very honored that so many people think so much of me," Boynes, said, her voice cracking with emotion.
Margaret "Peg" Carter (l) and Mary Boynes (r) Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.
     Boynes elicited laughter from the crowd when she made a reference to the Academy Awards by adding, "This is truly not the Academy but it is to me. I thank everybody, the bench, and all of my co-workers."
     I visit the Clerk of Courts several times a day gathering information for my news stories and I can attest that Boynes is fastidious and helpful. She certainly knows the intricacies of that very busy office.
     Clerk of Courts Ann Thornburg Weiss noted later that she believes it was the first time that an employee of her office received the annual honor.
     "We were thrilled to learn about it. Mary is very deserving of it. She's a hard worker, she's dedicated and she works very hard. She is, like they said at the ceremony, the go-to person when it comes to people that need help in the Clerks of Courts. She knows her way around and she's a helpful and kind person to everybody," Weiss said.
     Pancio said all of the county's senior judges wrote to Carluccio and recommended Carter for the honor.
     "She takes care of their schedules in Montgomery County and she takes care of their schedules when they leave the county," Pancio said. "Judge Albright called her 'the glue that holds us together.'"
     Carter also was overwhelmed by the honor and halted briefly with emotion as she addressed the crowd.
     "You can call me Peg. I am honored and grateful for this award but I am honored and grateful every day of the week that I am privileged to work with the hardworking senior judges. We have laughter or I get a history lesson. At the very least it's very interesting. And I thank them for being the caring men they are."
     Carter thanked the "courthouse family" she works with everyday, calling fellow recipient Boynes, "my hero."
     It was obvious from the thunderous applause that Carter is well respected and loved here at the courthouse.
     I can think of no one more deserving for this annual honor than Boynes and Carter. If you see Mary or Peg around the courthouse in the days ahead, congratulate them for a job well done.

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