Honoring honorees

When a paralegal is honored by his or her employers, by professional association, or by a public group, I like to recognize that recognition by posting about it here. Thus the “Awards and Honors” category. The problem is keeping up with all the news, especially during the busy parts of a semester. This semester I’ve required the students in our Advanced Seminar class to maintain a blog (their choice as to whether it’s a public blog or one available to the class only) and I have one of those students to thank for bringing this one to may attention and that of her classmates:

Raye Thornton, a paralegal with the Tulsa District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Office of Counsel, is presented the prestigious USACE Chief Counsel Keystone Award by District Commander Col. Michael Teague. The award recognizes professionalism and valued service of an individual member or of a team comprised of members of the USACE Legal Services System who made a significant contribution to the Corps Legal Services System and its mission.

Raye Thornton, a paralegal with the Tulsa District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Office of Counsel, is presented the prestigious USACE Chief Counsel Keystone Award by District Commander Col. Michael Teague. The award recognizes professionalism and valued service of an individual member or of a team comprised of members of the USACE Legal Services System who made a significant contribution to the Corps Legal Services System and its mission. (Photo by Sara Goodeyon)

Tulsa District attorney, paralegal honored with prestigious awards

Posted 10/16/2012

By Sara Goodeyon
Tulsa District

TULSA, Okla. – Two members of the Tulsa District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Office of Counsel staff are winners of USACE Chief Counsel Honorary Awards for 2012.

The prestigious Keystone Award and E. Manning Seltzer Award were presented to Raye Thornton and Stephanie R. Darr in a ceremony at Tulsa District Headquarters Oct. 5 by District Commander Col. Michael Teague.

“I was surprised and kind of speechless when I heard about the award,” said Thornton, winner of the Keystone award. “I was very honored and humbled, and just completely surprised.”

….

Thornton is the sole paralegal in the Office of Counsel and also serves as the Freedom of Information Act officer. The Keystone Award, established in 1997, recognizes professionalism and valued service of an individual member or of a team comprised of members of the USACE Legal Services System who made a significant contribution to the Corps Legal Services System and its mission.

In a letter notifying Thornton of her selection as the award winner, Chief Counsel Earl Stockdale said, “the name of the Keystone Award refers to the arch which is the supporting element of the structure, without which the arch would fail. The term is reflective of the indispensible [sic]roles non-attorneys perform in the successful accomplishment of the Corps’ legal services mission.”

“Raye just does a great job in the FOIA program,” said Klein. “We’ve had a lot of big complex cases this year that she has dealt with really well, along with managing the office during a time of a lot of change.”

The story is about awards given to an attorney in the office as well as the paralegal, but I’ve edited to focus on the paralegal for obvious reasons. But there is also this:

 “Both Stephanie and Raye are just really, really top notch people who are always contributing and they deserve it immensely,” said Klein. “Usually a district will do well to have one chief counsel award; getting two in the same year is a good reflection of the caliber of people in our office.”
It may also reflect on the ability of attorneys and paralegals to work as a team and the excellence that results when they do!
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