Riley County is pleased to announce Shelley Woodard as the new Deputy County Counselor. Woodard is an experienced legal professional who brings a wealth of expertise to the County. She first joined the organization in July 2023, preparing for the role by working closely with previous Deputy Counselor Craig Cox before his retirement at the end of September.
As Deputy County Counselor, Woodard assists the County Counselor to provide legal counsel to the Board of County Commissioners and County Department Heads. She serves as a resource to the County for matters involving contractual agreements and may be asked to provide advice and direction on all areas of county government as needed.
“Shelley’s enthusiasm and talent will be a tremendous benefit to our office, our clients, and the citizens of Riley County,” said County Counselor Clancy Holeman. “Shelley is stepping into big shoes. Craig Cox left a legacy of compassion, hard work, and professionalism, and I believe Shelley is equal to the task.”
Woodard's legal background includes arguing cases at the Kansas Supreme Court and working extensively at both the state and municipal levels in Kansas. Prior to joining Riley County, she served as County Counselor for Miami County, Kansas, where she demonstrated her dedication to local government and community welfare.
Inspired from a young age to give back to the community, Woodard served in the U.S. Army Reserve as a wheeled vehicle mechanic before attending law school. She earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas School of Law, where she was honored with a Pro Bono Distinction. Her commitment to providing legal guidance to elected officials aligns seamlessly with her belief in the impact of local government.
“Local government is unique in that it touches daily life. I went to law school so I could help people and give back to the community around me; plus, the work is interesting! I’m here to provide guidance to elected officials, to help ensure we operate within the bounds of the law and provide good services,” explained Woodard.
A native of Garden City in southwest Kansas, Woodard enjoyed early life on the family farm. She and her husband, fellow attorney Jonathon Noble, are very happy to be living in Kansas. Their household includes three dogs and two lively and personable chickens, who they consider cherished members of the family.
Apart from her legal pursuits, Woodard's adventurous spirit has taken her around the world. She has traveled to 8 countries, 20 states, explored falconry in Dubai, and tried swimming with sharks in Hawaii. She is also an avid soccer and hard rock music fan. She holds season tickets for the Kansas City Cauldron, and has been to many live concerts to see bands such as Guns 'N Roses, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, and Pearl Jam.
Riley County extends a warm welcome to Shelley Woodard and looks forward to benefiting from her expertise, enthusiasm, and dedication to service. Her unique blend of legal acumen and passion for community welfare makes her a valuable addition to the team.
Riley County’s mission is to provide quality public services that preserve the past, protect the present, and enhance the health, safety, and general well-being of the citizens of Riley County.
photo of Shelley Woodard with Sporting Kansas City mascot