The award was part of a ceremony held during National Victims’ Rights Week, April 21-27.
“Every day she came to work to help us do what we do,” said District Attorney David McDade. “Rhonda Payne is — and was — the heart and soul of this courthouse.”
Superior Court Judge David Emerson also spoke about Payne as a public-spirited woman who was willing to serve.
“Rhonda brought this ‘easy confidence’ to the job,” said Emerson. “She made it look easy and brought a sense of public service.”
Art from students in Douglas County high schools were submitted that depicted their interpretation of what victim rights are all about. The art was displayed in the courthouse atrium.
Finalists from the Victims’ Rights Art Contest were: first place, Mackenzie Nails; second place, Danielle Sutton and third place, Angie Prieto — all from Chapel Hill High School.
Honorable mentions were presented to Jannah Melish, Chapel Hill High School; Marcus Inyang and Dana Harris, both from Douglas County High School; and Brie-Onie Leverette and Mae-Lee Colwell-Shockley from New Manchester High School.