Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court Paul Newby recently recognized three Justice Department employees who have consistently demonstrated professionalism and earned the respect of their peers. Chief Justice Newby presented the Chief’s Certificate of Excellence to Debbie Basnight, Assistant Clerk of the Court for Currituck County Superior Court, Wayne Dawson, Lenoir County Magistrate, and Amy Kincaid, Guardian and Litem Supervisor for Judicial District 25 (Burke and Caldwell counties). To treat judges in recognition of their professionalism and to treat others as they would like to be treated.
Debbie Basnight has worked in the clerk’s office for 35 years and has worked in clerkship, childcare, criminal district/supreme court, foreclosures and currently real estate clerk throughout her career. Basnight serves with compassion, dignity and respect and leads by example. As a rule, she is the first in the office every morning and the last to leave. Basnight says she’s up for the challenge of implementing eCourts and attended the UNC School of Government to help pilot the New Estate Clerk training program for employees. In addition to her work at the Clerk’s Office, Basnight serves on the Advisory Board of the State Employee’s Credit Union and is Secretary of the Washington Norfolk District Assembly Church of Christ’s Disciples, Inc.
Lenoir County Magistrate Wayne Dawson was hired for his professionalism and 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 have known Dawson and referred to him by the nickname “Tweety” given to him during his tenure in the school system. He is often hugged by former students he meets and is often asked his 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. He created a system of containers of important documents marked “FLOOD” throughout the magistrate’s office so that staff could “pack and go” in an emergency. Dawson was working to set up a satellite site with printing capabilities when the last major flood split the county in half.
Amy Kincaid is a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Supervisor for Judicial District 25, serving Burke and Caldwell counties. Under her leadership, Kincaid has nearly doubled the number of GAL volunteers in Burke County since 2017. Kincaid has modeled the community presence, leadership and collaboration required to transition the in-person volunteer training option to virtual. 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 bulk of Kincaid’s recruiting efforts took place during the pandemic, but she managed to overcome the challenges that came with it, as well as the connectivity issues that come with being based in a mountainous region.