Supreme Court of North Carolina Chief Justice Paul Newby recently recognized three Judicial Branch employees who have consistently demonstrated professionalism and who have gained the respect of their peers. Chief Justice Newby presented Currituck County Assistant Clerk of Superior Court Debbie Basnight, Lenoir County Magistrate Wayne Dawson, and Judicial District 25 (Burke and Caldwell counties) Guardian ad Litem Supervisor Amy Kincaid with the Chief Justice's Certificate of Excellence in recognition of their professionalism and for treating others the way they would want to be treated.
Debbie Basnight has 35 years of service with the clerk’s office and over the course of her career has served as the head cashier, served in child support, criminal district / superior court, foreclosures, and is currently serving as the estates clerk. Basnight serves with compassion, dignity, and respect and leads by example. She is usually the first person in the office each morning and last to leave. Basnight says she is ready for the challenge of implementing eCourts and attended the UNC School of Government to help with the pilot program for the new estates clerk training for clerks. In addition to working in the clerk’s office, Basnight serves on the State Employee’s Credit Union Advisory Board and is secretary for the Washington Norfolk District Assembly Church of Christ’s Disciples, Inc.
Lenoir County Magistrate Wayne Dawson was hired for his professionalism and his warm, calm personality. Dawson has a long history in law enforcement as a DARE instructor for the school system and later as a juvenile detective for the Sheriff’s Office. Many generations know Dawson and refer to him by his nickname “Tweety” which was given to him during his tenure with the school system. He is often given hugs from former students he meets and is often asked for by name when people have personal matters they wish to discuss. Kinston has been flooded three times in recent years due to storms and Dawson is ready for the next one. He created a system of containers with important documents marked “FLOOD” throughout the magistrate's office so employees can "grab and go" in the event of an emergency. Dawson worked to establish a satellite site location with printing capabilities when the last large flood split the county in half.
Amy Kincaid is a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) supervisor for Judicial District 25 serving Burke and Caldwell counites. Under her supervision since 2017, Kincaid almost doubled the number of GAL volunteers in Burke County. Kincaid has modeled the community presence, leadership, and collaboration needed to shift in-person training option to virtual for volunteers. Her diligence during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic made a significant difference to the 315 child clients served by GAL in Burke County. Most notably, the majority of Kincaid's recruitment efforts occurred during the pandemic, but she overcame the challenges it posed, as well as the the connectivity issues that occur as a result of being stationed in a mountainous region.