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Monday, April 21, 2014

Superior Court says goodbye to Graf

Pictured second from the left is Linda Graf with Patrick V. Diaz, former Family Court manager, now Clerk of the Superior Court on her right. Associate judge Kenneth L. Govendo is centered, associate judge David A. Wiseman and Sonia A. Camacho, special assistant to the presiding judge are to his right.  (Contributed Photo) The CNMI Superior Court recently bid farewell to Linda O. Graf who had been the instructor for the Separating Parents Program conducted by the Family Court Division. The Family Court Division was honored by the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) as the recipient of the 2010 National Justice Association Outstanding Justice Program Award for “best practice” evidence-based program.

Graf was instrumental in developing the curriculum for the Separating Parents Program in 2006 and conducted all the sessions with the Family Court Judge Kenneth L. Govendo thereafter until her last on Nov. 7, 2012. Graf is a certified National Certified Counselor (NCC) and Certified Professional Mediator (CPM), as well as the sole proprietor and owner of the Graf Counseling & Mediation. About her time on Saipan and her work with the court, Graf stated, “It’s been a blessing for me to have spent the last 13 years on island, and the past five years working with the Family Court have been the most rewarding and enjoyable.”

Family Court Judge Kenneth L. Govendo stated “our Separating Parents Program was one of the reasons we won a national award for client services in 2010 and Linda deserves a great deal of credit for that. We believe that a lot of children have been helped because this program and we plan to continue it.”

The Separating Parents Program is an educational program for divorcing and separating parents. It informs parents about the emotional, economic, and educational problems their children may experience as a result of divorce and separation, and how prolonged parental conflict can increase their children’s anxiety. It encourages parents to assume responsibility for creating a post divorce/separation environment in which their children are the first priority. The session is held once a month in the evening at the Superior Court in Susupe. Interested parties may call 236-9783. (PR)

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