Snowbird, UT—Fourth District Juvenile Judge Mary T. Noonan was presented with the Scott M. Matheson Award on Thursday during the 39th Annual Promising Youth Conference.

The conference is an interagency gathering of professionals from education, the courts, human services, juvenile justice, and other public/private organizations who all deal with at-risk and under-resourced youth who are experiencing educational, legal, behavioral, and/or mental health challenges.

Judge Noonan was recognized for her many years of dedication to public service and more specifically to bringing a positive energy to the youth in her court.

Judge Noonan did not set out to become a judge. After working as a social worker in inner-city Boston, she came to Utah where she earned her law degree from the S.J. Quinney College of Law and Master of Public Administration from the University of Utah. She practiced law for several years before serving as Director of the Utah Division of Child and Family Services and as Director of the Office of Legal Counsel for the Department of Human Services. Noonan served as Division Director of the Utah Attorney General’s Office Child Protection Division, and as section chief of the Southern Division for the same office. In 2003, after being encouraged by a judge to apply, she was appointed to the Fourth District Juvenile Court bench by Governor Michael O. Leavitt.

Judge Noonan is widely known for building bridges between the Juvenile Court and schools. She organized the Child Welfare Interdisciplinary Council in the Fourth District, as well as night court to ease the burden on parents who had to miss work for frequent court hearings.

“Judge Mary Noonan is a rare example of one who has devoted her professional life to bettering the lives of children,” said Utah State Courts Administrator Richard Schwermer. “Both at the Department of Human Services and as a Juvenile Court Judge, she strived to innovate on behalf of children and their families. One example is her experimentation with a late afternoon and night calendar, designed to make it easier for students to both attend school and court hearings, and to make it easier for parents to appear with their children. Her unique energy and her enthusiasm and advocacy for children are why she is so deserving of this important recognition.”

Judge Noonan has announced that she will retire in July.

Photo caption: Fourth District Juvenile Judge Mary T. Noonan was presented the Scott M. Matheson Award by former Utah Court of Appeals, and former juvenile judge, Regnal W. Garff on Thursday during the 39th Annual Promising Youth Conference.

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Utah Courts

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