Washington Courts: Press Release Detail
Island County Superior and Juvenile Court Administrator Named Court Manager of the YearDecember 21, 2009
Island County Superior and Juvenile Court Administrator Michael Merringer has been named Court Manager of the Year by the Washington State Court Management Council, a statewide forum of court officials that works to enhance the administration of courts.
Merringer was nominated by Island County Superior Court judges Vickie Churchill and Alan Hancock, and Benton/Franklin Counties Juvenile Court Administrator Sharon Paradis.
In addition to his administrator duties, Merringer has served for 10 years on the Washington Association of Juvenile Court Administrators, and is currently president of the association as well as co-chair of its Legislative Committee.
In her nominating letter, Paradis wrote:
“Mike has worked tirelessly to improve the statewide process by which a validated risk assessment tool, and the necessary infrastructure to support such an endeavor, is fully implemented in each juvenile court in the state. This statewide implementation and consistency means that all youth who are placed on probation by the courts are given the same assessment resulting in identification of their specific needs and risks, the opportunity for highly trained probation officers to work with and motivate each youth toward a positive behavior change, and decreased recidivism.”
Also, Paradis wrote, “Mike has strenuously advocated for the courts through an extraordinarily difficult and challenging time. Mike’s ability to keep up with the ever-changing issues and negotiate his way through the multitude of competing political perspectives and opposing interests has been nothing short of remarkable.”
In their nominating letter, judges Churchill and Hancock wrote:
“During the 2008 Legislative Session, Michael played an important role in helping the juvenile courts save funding that has allowed local courts to continue to successfully lower the juvenile crime rate statewide… He has developed trust with those who deal with him, trust which will be invaluable in the coming legislative session.”
“To say I’m shocked is an understatement,” Merringer said when he learned of the award. “There is so much talent all across the state. I wouldn’t even be nominated if it weren’t for our great judges and staff,” he said. “This is far more appreciated than deserved.”
Churchill had a different view. “He’s a busy man, and he does it all with excellence.”
The Court Manager of the Year Award has been presented annually since 1991 to recognize a full-time manager who has served Washington courts for at least five years and has made significant contributions to the court community.
CONTACT: Island County Superior Court Presiding Judge Vickie Churchill, (360) 679-7361; Island County Superior and Juvenile Court Administrator Michael Merringer, (360) 679-7361.
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