BY LOGAN MCCOURNTEY –
Michelle Boehler, Administrative Assistant to Judge Jerry Ryan, was recently recognized by the Administrative Office of the Courts and Arkansas Trial Court Administrators Association for 25 years of service to the state of Arkansas. This, coming after she has worked during the tenure of three different judges in Polk County.
Michelle grew up in Polk County and is a 1984 graduate of Mena Public Schools. Upon graduation, she moved to Austin, Tex. where she would work for seven years for the Texas Board State Licensing Agency. “Living in the state’s capitol, there are a lot of opportunities for work and they are always looking to hire and so I went looking for a job and was fortunate to get one quickly,” recalls Michelle. While living in Austin, a cousin that worked at the court house told her about a job working with Judge Ford. “I called and we interviewed and he asked me to come work. The rest is history and I have been here since,” Michelle says with a smile.
Throughout her almost 30 years serving Polk County and the State of Arkansas, Michelle has worked closely with three judges. During that time, Michelle has played an important role in supporting the judge. “I schedule all cases for court dates for not only Polk County, but Montgomery as well. Here in Polk County we handle all criminal, juvenile, civil/domestic, and probate cases. It all ads up when you are trying to work around numerous schedules, including attorneys and others.” The week is jam-packed, Tuesday is court in Montgomery County, Wednesday is for Polk County, and Thursday and Friday are for criminal cases being heard.
Although the work can be very time consuming, Michelle enjoys the work she is doing and having the opportunity to serve the community the way she is. “I enjoy the work and the people I work with. I’m real comfortable doing this after so long and feel like I am able to really serve the judges. I was pretty overwhelmed, but as time as went on I have become more and more comfortable,” says Michelle smiling. There is a schedule book that Michelle writes down every court schedule, among many other things, and she remarked that if there is anybody that needs to know about a case schedule, they know where to look. “Often people come to me asking questions because they know if I know the answer, it will be in my book,” recalls Michelle laughing.
When she isn’t at work, Michelle loves being outside. “I love fishing and floating the river or canoeing. We love being outside as a family.” Michelle is married to Bart and they have two daughters, Cherie, a student at the U of A, and Carlee, a freshman at Mena. Along with her family, Michelle loves all her animals. “We love animals around my house. We have dogs, cows, chickens, and pigs. I have two English Bulldogs and two Dachshund, they are my absolute favorite. I love being able to go home from work to hang out with my family on the farm.”