Editor’s note: “Support Staff Spotlight” is a weekly series that shines a spotlight on those that work behind the scenes in our area county departments that keep everything running smoothly. These individuals rarely get any attention (or credit?) but are vital to their respective departments. A new “Support Staff Spotlight” (formerly known as "21 Things You Might Not Know About Me") from one of our six-county coverage-area county departments will be published each Monday on DrydenWire.com.
BURNETT COUNTY -- This week, we shine the spotlight on Jackie Kurkowski. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Jackie, she is the Office Manager and Legal Secretary at the Burnett County District Attorney's Office and has been at the DA's Office for over 15 years.
Before you read Jackie’s “21 Things You Might Know About Me,” check out what her boss, Burnett County District Attorney James Rennicke, had to say about her:
"Jackie is an integral part of our office. She brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and commons-sense to help us fulfill our mission. She is both well-liked and well-respected at courthouse as well as in our office. When she is in our office the atmosphere is much brighter and everyone is the better for it. She cares about our community and its citizens and helps our office seek justice. She is able to work with both regular citizens, law enforcement as in addition to technical staff. Our office runs much more smoothly when she is there. I hereby extend my deepest appreciation for her efforts and hope that things long continue." -- James Jay Rennicke, Burnett County District Attorney
21 Things About Me: Jackie Kurkowski
- I was born in St Croix Falls, lived in Cushing for one year, and have resided in the Frederic/Lewis area the rest of the time. I have an older brother, Greg, and a sister, Tammy, who live within 2 miles of us.
- I have been married for 32 years to my husband John and have two adult children; Ashley and Austin. Ashley is married to Jayce and has three children: Paisley, Levi, and Violet and those grandbabies are the love of our lives. We love spending time with them and spoiling them rotten.
- I attended Frederic High School and was involved in everything I could. I played volleyball and basketball. I was a cheerleader for wrestling and football, and a member of the student council. I participated in school plays and belonged to the Future Homemakers of America(FHA).
- I am a baker and a cook. I love making cookies, and bars, decorating cakes, making soups, and catering for large groups. I always have fun trying new recipes and sharing them with friends and family. I am happiest in the kitchen.
- In my free time, I love to be outside. I try to go walking each day year-round and I love to snowshoe in the winter. In the spring I can’t wait to get out in the flower beds and plant way too many kinds, downside is I then have a job all summer watering. John started an apple orchard over the past two years and keeps adding more and more trees each year. We are adding pears and plum trees this spring.
- I love to hunt turkeys in the spring. I am usually pretty lucky and have only missed a couple of years of the past 15. My son Austin is usually my guide and is very patient with me. I am also a bear hunter. I have fun sitting out over bait and being very patient. My husband is my guide for that and he is amazed when I actually get one. I have a tag again for this fall and already am excited for the season to begin.
- I am a dog lover, we have a black lab and she is a sweetheart. Benelli “Nellie” is almost 11 years old and a true member of the family.
- I don’t own a camper but love to go camping each summer. We end up renting a camper but it works for us. We head up north usually towards the Hayward area.
- I actually love to do laundry. I do not know why but, I have never minded doing it.
- I do not mind cleaning my house but I HATE doing the dusting. I will scrub floors, vacuum, and scrub toilets but put off doing the dusting any chance I get.
- I hate snakes. I would prefer to not see one anywhere but definitely not near my house. Of course, I know “they are good for the environment”-NOT in my world.
- I would love to own a scooter. My husband says no since I tipped over my son’s one time. I didn’t hurt the scooter OR myself but he doesn’t trust me. Does anyone want to give me scooter driving lessons?
- I am extremely active in my church. I have been on our church council for the past six years and currently took on the bookkeeping job. I am so blessed to have a church family and another place to call home.
- I love to be organized. I try to keep my work area and my home in order at all times. I am sure it bugs my family.
- I take yoga classes. I love it and have enjoyed getting to know new people. We have fun and that is important when exercising.
- I go to painting classes. I have painted so many things that I am now making crafts to give away as I have an abundance in my home. I still love to go and will continue regardless.
- I have worked for Burnett County for almost 27 years. I started in the Department of Health and Human Services for four years, transferred to the Treasurer’s Office for another four, and then took a split position in the Clerk of Court’s Office and District Attorney’s Office, after two years they made the Clerk of Court’s Office full time and I ended up there for two more years until a full-time position opened up due to retirement in the DA Office in 2012 and have been there ever since. I love being a legal assistant and the office manager and am happy to be part of our team.
- I have worked with four DAs and five ADAs in my 17 years in the District Attorney’s Office. James Rennicke is our current DA and Kevin Schmidt is our current ADA. I have also been blessed with wonderful co-workers; Jayne Schwartz, Vickie Bauer, and Laura Christensen. We work great together and teamwork is what we strive for.
- When my kids were in school, I never missed a game or concert if at all possible. We even went down and watched the boy's state basketball tournament in Austin’s junior and senior years (even though we didn’t quite make it to play). I am still an active member of the Frederic Booster Club. I now have moved on to going to watch my great nephew’s games in Lake Nebagamon and Shell Lake. It is truly the thing I look forward too. I love being a supporter of their activities as well.
- Law Enforcement is in my family. My grandfather was Chief of Police in Cameron many years ago. My sister Tammy worked for the Burnett County Sheriff’s Department for almost 42 years and my cousin through marriage is the Barron County Sheriff, Chris Fitzgerald. I truly love this type of work and through the good and the bad look forward to it each day.
- Bucket list…..I would love to travel to Alaska and Italy, go on a cruise and maybe attempt to visit all 50 states. My hunting side bucket list would be to go on a moose and elk hunt.
Note: You can read "21 Things" from other support staff members from our area county departments by clicking the link below.