Roane County Child Advocate Named 2014 CASA Volunteer of the Year - Articles

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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Jan 23, 2014

Award given to Jack McNew at Nashville ceremony

NASHVILLE, Jan. 23, 2014 -- Jack McNew of Harriman has been named the 2014 CASA Volunteer of the Year by the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (YLD). The award recognizes McNew's five years of service as a volunteer for CASA of the Ninth Judicial District, which serves children in Loudon, Morgan and Roane counties.

Knoxville lawyer Katrina Atchley Arbogast, chair of the YLD Children's Issues Committee, presented the award to McNew at a dinner in Nashville this past weekend. Sandra Weaver, executive director of CASA of the Ninth Judicial District, also was recognized. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the award, which was celebrated with a video presentation featuring all previous award winners.

McNew has served with CASA of the Ninth Judicial District since its founding in 2008, and "has been a mainstay" with the program, according to Weaver. In her application nominating McNew, Weaver also recounted how he served as part of a small group that undertook a strategic planning process to determine whether to form the agency, and then worked to bring management guidelines to the counties being served. McNew was one of the agency's first volunteer advocates and first president of its board of directors. He also loaned the new organization $3,000 to get its operations off the ground.

Since becoming involved with CASA, McNew has represented nearly 24 children. He also has served as the agency's interim treasurer and liaison to the county commission. In that role, he successfully obtained office space in the courthouse for the CASA staff. McNew is passionate about the mission of CASA and often speaks to community groups and potential funders. Most recently, he has become a peer coordinator, supervising six new volunteers.

In addition to being a tremendous asset to the administration of the program, Weaver says McNew exhibits a sincere love and concern for the children he is appointed to represent. As examples she references two particular cases. In the first, which also happens to be the agency's longest running case, McNew has been a constant presence in the life of a young man, and though he has not found a permanent home for him yet, has stuck by him through thick and thin.

In another case, McNew helped a young man get into a more supportive home though his efforts to encourage behavioral changes met with limited success. McNew finally administered some tough love and told the teen that he had done what he could and the rest was up to him. A year later, McNew received word that the young man, who was about to graduate from high school, wanted him to attend the ceremony. He later told McNew, "Without you, I would not be here."  

In addition to his involvement with CASA, McNew is active in a number of other community organizations. He is a graduate of Leadership Roane County. He volunteers for Roane County United Way's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and is a long-time United Way contributor and supporter. In addition, he is past chair of the local Habitat for Humanity and the Roane Choral Society.

A headshot of McNew is available for download here

A photo from the award ceremony is available for download here
Suggested caption: Knoxville lawyer Katrina Atchley Arbogast (right) presents the 2014 CASA Volunteer of the Year Award to Jack McNew of Harriman as Sandra Weaver, executive director of CASA of the Ninth Judicial District, (far left) looks on. McNew volunteers with the agency, which serves children in Loudon, Morgan and Roane counties.

Learn more about CASA of the Ninth Judicial District

Learn more about CASA activities across the state

See past CASA Award recipients