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Clerk of Court Diane Cornett Deal Announces Retirement; Charles Haynes Appointed as Replacement Effective June 1

By Nathan Ham

After serving as an assistant clerk of court for 30 years and the Superior Clerk of Court for the last 10 years, Diane Cornett Deal has decided to retire at the end of May. Judge Gary M. Gavenus has appointed Charles M. Haynes to complete Deal’s term of office. Haynes will take over effective June 1 after spending eight years in the clerk’s office serving as an assistant clerk and deputy clerk.

“I have had the honor and privilege of serving the people of North Carolina and the citizens of Watauga County first as an Assistant Clerk for 30 years and then as Clerk of Superior Court for the past 10 years. These 40 plus years have flown by and there are no words to say how much I have enjoyed working with each of you through these many years,” Deal said. “I now find myself at a place in my life where I need to begin a new chapter; therefore, I am announcing that I will be retiring at the end of May 2021. As I near this retirement date, I want to express my appreciation to all the people, way too many to name, who have been so supportive of me through the years.”

Deal has been a lifelong resident of Watauga County and currently resides in Foscoe with her husband, Thad Taylor. She graduated from Watauga High School and immediately began a career in the clerk of court’s office. She served under previous clerks John T. Bingham and Glenn Hodges and was first elected as the Clerk of Superior Court in 2010.

Deal said she has been a part of so many changes to the court system during her four-decade career.

“I love saying that I have seen us advance from typing calendars on manual typewriters and making copies on hand-cranked mimeograph machines to using modern-day technology. I must say these were all changes for the better,” she said. “The North Carolina Courts are getting ready to go through some major changes over the next few months and years; therefore, it is important to have continuity of experience in the office to ensure a smooth transition into a new and hopefully easier way for our people to have access to justice.”

Charles M. Haynes graduated from Appalachian State University in 2003 and previously worked as a relationship banker at RBC Centura Bank before taking a job in Deal’s office. Haynes’ appointment by Judge Gavenus came at Deal’s recommendation.

“Most of my interest in this opportunity came from those who believed in me. I owe everything to Diane Deal for being a great mentor throughout the process,” Haynes said. “I am honored and humbled to have been considered for this role and appointment. I am looking forward to continuing the high standard of service this office has provided for many years.”