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Carole Henderson, of Frankfort, budget director for the Administrative Office of the Courts, received the Chief Justice’s Special Service Award for “maintaining financial stability for the state Judicial Branch during a period of historic funding challenges,” according to a press release.

Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. presented the award to Henderson at the Kentucky Bar Association’s annual banquet in Louisville.

“Carole has been largely responsible for keeping the Judicial Branch afloat throughout the great recession,” Minton said. “She has dedicated her entire career to the court system and has arguably put in more hours than any other employee during her 21 years of service.

“Without a doubt, Carole has proven herself to be the most valuable player on my team and I am so happy to have the opportunity to recognize her publicly for her tremendous service to the commonwealth and to me personally during my tenure as chief justice. She is a true workhorse and one of the unsung heroes of the court system. I can’t thank her enough for the work she has done to improve the court system.”

Henderson, who lives in Frankfort with her husband, Nelson, and their two children, A.J. and Lauren, began work at the AOC in 1991 as a judicial secretary in the Budget Department and was later promoted to budget analyst.

While working full time, she enrolled full time at Midway College and earned her bachelor’s in 1999. In 2004, she was promoted to deputy budget director and four years later became budget director. In 2009, she assumed oversight of the judicial center construction program when the Division of Capital Construction was put under the AOC Office of Budget and Policy. She recently began overseeing the AOC Division of Accounting and Purchasing.

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