Family Court Judge Joyce Dumbaugh Chernenko has announced she will seek re-election in the May 10 primary election.
Chernenko is family court judge for the 1st Judicial Circuit, which includes Hancock, Brooke and Ohio counties.
was elected to the position in 2002 and 2008.
Prior to that, she
was appointed to preside over family law cases in the circuit by Gov.
said, "I have been honored to serve the families of the 1st Judicial Circuit
during my time as a family court judge.
Each day I strive to protect our children and improve their lives by implementing programs such as custody mediation, creating co-parenting instructional materials, and continuing efforts to improve court processes."
implemented a family court parenting mediation program two years before it was mandated statewide by the West Virginia Legislature, and adopted a parent education program in the circuit before it was implemented throughout the state also.
In 2008 the West Virginia Supreme Court
of Appeals awarded one of two grants to Chernenko
to establish a children's safe area at her
court facility in Wheeling.
In November, she
established a similar children's area, which she
named "The Kids' Korner," in her
Hancock County facility.
"Both the Hancock and Ohio county children's areas provide a safe haven for children, in order to shelter them from the conflict between their parents that inevitably takes place as a part of these court proceedings," Chernenko
In 2002 and 2003 the Supreme Court
a total of $100,000 in grants over two years to establish monitored parenting and exchange centers, through agencies in Ohio and Hancock counties, to protect victims of domestic violence and children in high conflict parenting cases.
Chernenko was born and raised in Weirton and graduated from Weir Senior High School in 1974.
She attended Bethany College, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in communications in 1978.
She graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1981.
In 1999 Chernenko was elected president of the West Virginia Family Court Association, serving two consecutive terms until October 2001.
During the 2000 and 2001 West Virginia legislative sessions, she was the primary representative of the Family Court Association, traveling across the state to advocate for the new court system and assisting legislative leaders in their efforts to establish the court.
Since the passage of the West Virginia Family Court Constitutional Amendment in November 2000, Chernenko
has been named to the Supreme Court's
family court legislative committee and the committee on transfer of domestic violence jurisdiction.
was selected by the Supreme Court
to train new family court judges in domestic violence law, shared parenting law and other areas of family law.
In 2001 Chernenko
represented the state's judiciary at a national conference on the relationship between domestic violence and child abuse issues held in San Antonio, Texas.
husband, Marc, also a Bethany College graduate, have remained active at their alma mater, serving on its board of trustees for 15 years.
She has served as general advisor to the Bethany chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha, a national women's fraternity founded at Bethany in 1905 and has been an alumni advisor to the college's Panhellenic Council and student court.
also has been an avid supporter of Bethany's varsity women's field hockey and lacrosse teams.
In 2004 she
was named Outstanding Alumna for her
service to Bethany
, and in 2012 she
husband were jointly awarded Alumni of the Year honors.
Chernenko is a member of Wellsburg United Methodist Church, where she serves on its pastor-parish relations committee; and an active supporter of the Brooke County Pioneer Trail Association.