“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.
WASHBURN COUNTY -- This week, we shine the spotlight on Tonya Haremza. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Tonya, she is a Deputy Clerk of Court at the Washburn County Clerk of Court Office and she, as of May 2023, will have been with the Clerk of Court Office for 8 years.
Before you read Tonya’s “21 Things You Might Know About Me,” check out what Washburn County Clerk of Court Shannon Anderson had to say about Tonya:
"Tonya has been a valuable staff member at the Washburn County Clerk of Court Office for nearly 8 years with her area of expertise being in civil and family, but is always willing to fill-in where needed. Tonya is a dedicated staff member that serves the public and courts with respect, integrity and dedication. She is also of creative sign/craft maker, plant manager and fish caretaker." — Shannon Anderson
21 Things About Me: Tonya Haremza
- I was born and raised in Shell Lake, WI with my two older brothers. Most people I grew up with could not wait to move far away from this little town – I was not one of them.
- Growing up, I took every safety course I could -- snowmobile, ATV, boating -- so I was able to get around and visit friends.
- After high school, I attended WITC and graduated with my associate in Medical Administration and Transcription.
- While attending college, to get out of having to take physical education classes I took a first aid class and was certified as a first responder.
- I started working at the Washburn County Courthouse stemming back to my junior year in high school where I worked as an LTE in the Register of Deed’s office. From there I started doing transcription for the Sheriff’s Department on an as-needed basis and working part-time in the District Attorney’s office. In 2015, I was hired full-time in the Clerk of Court’s office and that brings us here today.
- Although our office is cross-trained, the main case loads I handle are family [divorce and legal separations], paternity, and civil [large claim lawsuits and restraining orders]. I enjoy the aspects of each and try to be as helpful as I can be.
- I have been with Lucas for almost 9 years. Together we have a cat [Millie], a dog [Macie], and 12 chickens – with more chickens coming later this spring.
- Black is my go-to color. My closet is plum full of black clothes with a splash of color here and there. I feel my friends ask what I am going to wear to an event only to humor me, as they know it will consist of mainly black.
- I am always eating at work. It is the running joke in the office that I eat my lunch for breakfast and then ask what is for lunch by 9 AM.
- Speaking of eating, my favorite food is spaghetti. And Kobe's from the food court in Eau Claire. Lucas has done a wonderful job replicating Kobe's so we can have it more than one time a year. I also enjoy seafood and Audie's fish fry.
- My hobbies include crafting, photography, fishing, boating, and gardening – Gardening being the one that consumes most of my time lately [January – September]. I have a small greenhouse set up in the house to house all my seedlings until they are ready to go outside. I truly enjoy the start to finish of planting the seed to harvesting the produce and canning it into something we can eat later.
- Aside from garden plants, I also love house plants. And, some would say, I may have too many. I cannot count the number of avocado pits I have tried to grow. And apple seeds. And anything with a seed. If I am not trying to grow it from seed, I am propagating it.
- My friends' circle is wonderful. It ranges from childhood family friends and classmates to coworkers old and new. They all help me get by and it makes my day when I chat/get together with them.
- I am an I.D. channel junkie. If I have control of the remote [whenever Lucas is not around] that is the channel that is on unless it is an episode I have seen too many times, then I am searching for some crime thriller on Netflix.
- I love office supplies. I have drawers full of highlighters, markers, pens, post-its, and stationery. It makes my day when it is "craft time" at work and signs or flyers need to be made.
- Halloween is my least favorite holiday. Something about going up to a stranger’s house and asking for candy freaked me out as a child. Now I embrace the holiday as I can see how fun and happy the holiday makes people, oftentimes dressing up with my coworkers and scheming up ideas to dress up my cat and dog [which is probably the reason it is their least favorite holiday as well].
- I am a lover of most animals [but definitely not spiders!]. A wonderful memory I have is of my dad and I driving around “saving” turtles off the roadway and releasing them into our pond. To this day, I still stop and remove turtles from the roadway.
- Naps are my favorite – I try to take them whenever I can. When my nephews were younger, I would always volunteer to put them down for a nap and take that opportunity to lay with them and take one myself.
- Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny petrified me when I was younger. I would shake in fear going into any public building during those holidays, as I did NOT want to run into them. Thankfully, my parents and family members never made me sit and take a photo with either one.
- In 2020, we went to Mexico and since then it has become a yearly trip with family and friends. With every trip, I always say I am never coming back. Coincidentally, I will be in Mexico when this article is published.
- My family means the world to me. I would not be where I am without their love and support.
You can read "21 Things" from other support staff members from our area county departments by clicking the link below.