Pol·ly·an·na noun \pä-lē-a-nə\ : someone who thinks good things will always happen and finds something good in everything.
Pollyanna “Polly” Leimberg thinks that definition suits her personality; and her experiences in life have provided countless opportunities to either find the good or to wallow in the negative. She chooses to make the best of life’s challenges and adventures.
If you know Polly, you may know one of the hardest-working people in the Fourteenth Judicial District in Harrison. Marty Sullivan, Judicial Branch Education Director, said that in his experience, when Polly takes on a task, she learns everything she can about the subject and prepares well beyond what is required to get the job done. There are no shortcuts in Polly’s work.
She grew up a farm kid in north-central Arkansas, rising early to finish chores before school; then doing more when she got home. “I come from a large family and had lots of cousins who lived nearby,” Polly said. They grew up playing outside, swimming in the creek and catching lightning bugs. “Being the eldest of six siblings, there was not a lot of money...I put myself through college on an athletic scholarship and grants.”
Her life in the courts began in 1986 when she worked for the prosecuting attorney’s office in Mountain Home. She did everything from managing budgets to coordinating cases, and, well,
being the “do what’s gotta get done girl.” She is now a Certified Court Manager for Circuit Judge Gordon Webb, who runs two drug courts and handles domestic relations, civil, and criminal divisions in four counties. She is an instructor in Arkansas and six other consortium states for the Institute for Court Management since becoming certified by the National Center for State Courts.
Polly said she has “seen the court system go from electric typewriters and hot check records on index cards to vast computer programs on huge servers.” She worked with law enforcement and the courts to develop a video arraignment system after seeing five or six inmates being brought to court each day increase to 25 or more, which was a security “nightmare.”
“My life is a story written by me holding the pen, not someone else,” Polly said, but in addition to achieving the goals she created, life has provided plenty of opportunities to test her plans and her ability to remain positive.
After moving “to town” with her new husband, SSG Mark F. Leimberg, Polly thought she would be a traditional mother and housewife while her husband did the “outdoor manly-man things” with their son, Steven. As a military family, they had the necessary “what if ” conversations. Mark asked for her promise to raise Steven in the Boy Scouts. “He had enjoyed scouting as a young man and wanted our son to have the same positive experience.” Unfortunately, Polly’s promise to her husband came due in 1997 when the Persian Gulf combat veteran died.
“It was shortly after my husband’s passing that my son and I joined,” Polly remembered. “So there I was, a widow with a little boy in a little orange tiger T-shirt. Let me tell ya, I may have played outside a lot on the farm, but I was lost as a goose in the ‘scouting world.’”
As is her way, she “pulled herself up by the bootstraps” and began to learn about scouting. “I had made a promise and planned to keep it. Through hard work and a lot of learning, I worked my way through each level of training and attended Wood Badge in 2000.”
“Steven became an Eagle Scout in 2005. My promise to my late husband became a passion and my scouting career continues on today,” Polly said. “In 2012, I was selected to be the 2013 Westark Area Council Wood Badge Scoutmaster for Troop 1. There is a quote Polly likes: “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” Indeed, those are words to live by.