The staff at Southwest Oklahoma Juvenile Center celebrated the facility’s 20th anniversary with a reception Aug. 16.
Eight original Oklahoma Juvenile Affairs or OJA staff members still employed at the facility were recognized with certificates and service pins. Those employees were:
* Jane Blair, human resources, was honored as a 30-year state employee.
* Twenty-year recipients Susan Kisner, drug and alcohol supervisor; Robert Wilson, advocate defender; Joe Rodriquez, supply supervisor; April McClure, administrative programs officer; Debi Gomez, nursing supervisor; LaVonda Kopp, human resources supervisor and Mickey Haynie, juvenile security officer.
* Staff service pins for Jesse Gomez, deputy superintendent; and Elizabeth Parker, administrative technician, both 10 years; and Sondra Mitchell, youth guidance specialist, five years.
Steven Buck, executive director for the Office of Juvenile Affairs and Terry Smith, deputy director of Residential Services were guest speakers.
The Southwest Oklahoma Juvenile Center opened in August 1996 as part of the Juvenile Reform Act. This legislation created the OJA as the state juvenile justice agency. The first juvenile was received on Aug. 6, 1996. The center is a 64-bed medium security facility with about 140 employees.
Melissa Monson, juvenile justice specialist supervisor, was also honored as the facility’s Employee of the Month for July 2016. She received $25 and the use of a special parking place for a month from the Southwest Oklahoma Staff Committee. Other nominees were Youth Guidance Specialists Shante Brem, Gwen Scypion, Anitra Williams and Devin Wilson; and Nurses Michelle Naramor and Susan Sharp.
Several former staff, volunteers and state office personnel also attended the reception.