When Montgomery County Clerk of Superior Court Wayne Wooten retires Jan. 1, he will have spent just about his entire working life in public service. He spent 10 years with the Biscoe Police Department, five of those as chief; followed by nearly 14 years as Montgomery County Sheriff. After a short, four-year break in private industry as Myrick Construction’s safety manager, he was elected clerk of court in 1998.
“They’ve all been high stress jobs, but I couldn’t be more honored to hold the positions I’ve held,” he says. On a lighter note, he says he sometimes thinks about someone coming along 100 years from now, finding a load of documents bearing his signature, some as police chief, some as sheriff and some as clerk, and wondering who this Wayne Wooten person was.
Wooten is a humble man, one of nine kids who grew up poor in Troy’s Mill Hill neighborhood, and he speaks about how fortunate he’s been with the opportunities life has presented.
He graduated from West Montgomery High School in 1966, at the height of the Vietnam War. With little chance of going to college, he enlisted in the Air Force, spending his first two years as a postal clerk at a base in England and the last two working in the personnel office in Ohio. “I was fortunate I didn’t have to go to Vietnam,” he says.
Those jobs, along with high school work in the offices of Hickman Oil and Ice and Montgomery Dairy, took advantage of his affinity for working with numbers and a detail oriented mind.
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