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Casie Lightfoot Appointed as Director of Juvenile Court Services.
Coconino County Superior Court, through Presiding Juvenile Court Judge Ted Reed, announced the retirement of long-time Director of Juvenile Court Services, Bryon Matsuda, on April 30, 2021. Matsuda served a dedicated career over 47 years to improve the lives of youth and families involved in the juvenile justice system.
“Our County is better today because of the legacy that Bryon Matsuda leaves us. He brought a visionary approach to juvenile justice. His moral compass has always pressed him—and therefore the department—to do better and be better for the youth and families we serve. His leadership will be missed, but it will never be forgotten in Coconino County,” commented Judge Ted Reed.
Matsuda joined the County after serving at the Pima Detention Center and in Utah. His education at Brigham Young University, along with the experience he gained working with youth, taught him that the typical “nail them and jail them” approach did not work. Instead, Bryon created the Step-Up Juvenile Justice model which focused on building youths’ pro-social skills through the Steps of Change. He later expanded the model to include family-centered practices, making Coconino Juvenile Court Services one of the state’s most holistic probation departments.
There will be a gathering of the community to honor Bryon Matsuda and his career of service on Friday, April 30 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., at Juvenile Court Services (1001 E. Sawmill Rd). The event is a “Pie Party” and will be a causal affair, held outside, weather permitting, for the safety of guests. The public is welcome.
With the departure of Bryon Matsuda, Casie Lightfoot has been appointed as the next Director of Juvenile Court Services. Lightfoot has served as the Deputy Director at Juvenile Court Services for the last four years, and previously served as a Youth Care Worker, a Juvenile Probation Officer in the Williams and Grand Canyon area, the Grants and Special Projects Coordinator, and Probation Division Manager. Lightfoot holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Northern Arizona University, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Grand Canyon University and is a Certified Court Manager through the National Center for State Courts.
“Casie has a passion for working with at-risk youth and their families, improving systems, and reducing racial and ethnic disparities in those systems. She has been a leader in many statewide initiatives, implemented evidence-based practices for delinquent youth, expanded services to the delinquency and dependency divisions, and brought more trauma-informed practices to Juvenile Court. Her experience and dedication will serve us well in Coconino County,” Judge Ted Reed commented on announcing the appointment.
“I am honored to be appointed to lead Coconino Juvenile Court Services. The best way to keep our community safe is not solely through teaching accountability, but through meeting youth and families where they are at, working from a strengths-based perspective, offering encouragement, and building hope for a different future. Together with my dedicated team, we will continue the legacy of success and innovation here in Coconino County,” Lightfoot said.