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Supreme Court Recognition Program

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

Connie Beal, a drug technician in Probation District 3A in Lincoln, began her employment in the adult probation office in Lincoln in 2008.  Connie has streamlined the drug testing process in the Lincoln office where they test upwards of 250 probationers a day.  Connie develops personal relationships with her probationers and helps them overcome many obstacles they may encounter.  This is way above what a drug technician is required to do. Probation is all about changing lives and Connie is often the positive person to help motivate and encourage probationers in their life-changing endeavors.

Outstanding Probation Officer (LaDonna Snell Probation Officer Award)

Bob Blanchard is the Problem-Solving Court Coordinator for Probation District 4A in Omaha.  Bob participates in a special Young Adult Court which is a collaborative effort between the Douglas County Attorney, a district court judge, and the Douglas County Day Reporting Center.  This Court screens young adult offenders who are first-time non-violent felony offenders.  Bob supervises these young adults and helps them successfully complete the program.  Bob also started a mentoring program and assigns each offender to a mentor to serve as additional support. He treats each offender as an individual working with their strengths and offering resources to ensure their success. He continues to serve as a role model to all his co-workers with his passion to help young adults.

Outstanding Court Supervisor / Administrative Employee

Patricia Veburg, a Division Manager in the Hall County Court, goes above and beyond her duties as a supervisor/division manager. This year she also filled in as division manager for the Criminal/Traffic/Juvenile division when a vacancy occurred.  She has also been instrumental in encouraging scanning and e-filing in Hall County Court.  Pat has been with the Hall County Court for 28 years and continues to put her employees ahead of herself and works one-on-one with each employee to make sure they understand the procedures of the civil division.

Outstanding Trial or Appellate Court Employee

Pat Laukaitis is an official court reporter in the Lancaster County District Court and past president of the Nebraska Court Reporters Association.  Pat has trained extensively in real-time transcription and impresses her judge with how accurately she transcribes courtroom activity, particularly when things get confusing and fast-paced. She is often the first courtroom personnel litigants meet and she sets the tone for the courtroom making people feel welcome even though they are often engaged in very stressful circumstances.  She continues to demonstrate loyalty and dedication to the court system.

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

Julie Micek is the Reporting Center Coordinator in Probation District #2 in Bellevue and has made an extraordinary contribution to the Nebraska Probation system since her arrival in 2007.The past year, Ms. Micek’s leadership ability was most evident when she assumed additional responsibilities assisting Probation’s Division of Community-Based Programs and Services in the development and implementation of a mental health service delivery system in the Probation districts where reporting centers are located As a licensed mental health professional (LMHP), Coordinator Julie Micek was particularly qualified to see to fruition the creation of a strong delivery system of mental health services for high-risk probationers.  Her contribution remains significant in terms of training staff and continual coordination of services.

Outstanding Customer Service Award

Phyllis Gaspers has been an employee in the Madison County Court for 13 years.  Phyllis has continually had a positive attitude toward all she comes in contact with - lawyers, judges, court staff and the public.  She adjusts to all the changes throughout the court system, including JUSTICE and more recently the Docket system for traffic court and juvenile court. Phyllis has a positive attitude and helps out at the counter when things get busy in addition to helping callers on the phone.  She goes above and beyond in her work.  She has a way to calm the angry person at the counter and often before they leave they will be smiling and even laughing.

Innovation Award

Pat Hoffman receives this award for her role in the development and implementation of the Nebraska Court of Appeals SharePoint case management system.  Pat has provided essential support services to the Court of Appeals since its inception nearly 20 years ago.  Primarily through Pat’s work above and beyond her normal duties, the court has recently implemented this electronic internal system for case processing.  SharePoint has enabled the court to achieve efficiencies unsurpassed by any other intermediate appellate court.

Outstanding Team

The County Court Procedures Manual Committee with members Tammie Duensing, Donna Fink, Ellen Faltys, Gretchen Wiebe, Paula Crouse and Sheryl Connolly has been meeting for 10 years and at least 100 times.  The County Court Procedures Manual covers every facet of the county courts and is used statewide for training and for day-to-day problem solving. This committee has also worked with separate juvenile court and district court employees to complete the Juvenile Court Procedures Manual in 2011.  These manuals have increased the consistent use of recommended procedures statewide, which improves the efficiency of court staff and the accuracy of statistics derived from appropriate handling of cases and data entry.

Employee of the Year

Linda Mitchell, Assistant Clerk I in the Antelope County Court, has been with the county court system since 1986. From the beginning of her employment it was evident that she loved a challenge and approached each assignment with a zest for learning and a passion for getting things done correctly and efficiently. Linda currently has the responsibility for distributing county court transcriptions throughout the state to private contracted transcribing firms. Linda’s loyalty and dedication has improved not only the Antelope County Court but the entire state court system.