Atchison Co's Oswald named honorary bailiff for KS Court

Retired Atchison Co District Court Clerk, Donna Oswald, named as honorary bailiff for KS Supreme Court special Lansing session. (Submitted photo)

(KAIR)--A longtime court clerk, and Atchison County resident, has been called out of retirement to serve as an honorary bailiff during this week's local, special session of the Kansas Supreme Court.

According to a release from the Kansas Courts, Donna Oswald had worked for the Atchison County District Court for more than 45 years when she retired in 2022, with the release explaining that the Kansas Supreme Court invited Oswald to serve as honorary bailiff when the court visits Lansing Middle School Tuesday evening to hear two cases. As honorary bailiff, Oswald will call the audience to order at 6:30 Tuesday evening as the Supreme Court enters the school auditorium for its special session.

The release explains that Oswald was nominated to serve as honorary bailiff by Chief Judge Joan Lowdon, who chose her for two reasons: Oswald- long tenure with the Kansas court system, and "Lowdon- desire to involve people from courts in both Atchison and Leavenworth counties in the Supreme Court- visit to the 1st Judicial District."

The release explains Oswald as "modest" when she describes her long career with the court, which included roles as administrative support for a court services officer and later two judges, as a trial court clerk, as a transcriptionist, and finally 22 years as clerk of the district court.

In the release, Oswald says that through all her duties over the years, what she enjoyed most was working with jurors, because it put her in touch with people in her community, adding that she learned more about life in the courtroom than she could have in a textbook, saying that she "began to realize not everyone grew up the same way I grew up, and they had different challenges in life.”

The Supreme Court's visit to Lansing Middle School is part of its outreach to familiarize Kansans with the court, its work, and the overall role of the Kansas judiciary.

The court will be in session Tuesday evening from 6:30 to about 8:00 at Lansing Middle School, 220 Lion Lane. After the session concludes, justices will greet the public in an informal reception.

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