Meet Collin County attorney and Frisco resident Terri Green. She is, by many standards, a mover and shaker who has accomplished much in her career since arriving in the area 10 years ago. Often described as driven and tough, I also saw a woman who displays a sense of humor and cares deeply about her community and giving back.
A 23-year attorney who litigates family law, probate and civil matters, Green was named Associate Judge for Collin County’s Probate Court in June. Prior to that, she spent four years as a part-time teen court judge for the Plano Muncipal Court.
A self proclaimed workaholic, Green says, “My passion is wills and trusts. I have been giving seminars and speaking (on the topic of wills and trusts) since 1996.”
Mom to two boys, Green and 19 others started the teen court program in Frisco as part of a Chamber of Commerce leadership class project. “It’s about giving back,” Green said. “That (serving as a teen court judge) was a great experience — helping the kids.”
Named Teen Court Judge of the Year several times, Green feels she has made a difference in the lives of those who came before her in court, explaining that “I was very severe on them. I would send them to do community service; make them to classes.”
Problems such as theft and alcohol and drug use at a young age were common violations of the law that brough 12 to 17 year olds before her, Green said. She feels that kids often do not fully understand the possible ramifications for their behavior. They could benefit from some kind of classes, she said, including a class on criminal law, that explained in more detail the possible consequences of theft, drug use, and other choices that teens often make.
“This was not a kangaroo court. Kids don’t understand the consequences of taking a $10 CD at WalMart, or going into Kohl’s and picking up a pair of earrings,” Green said. “They don’t understand that you are going to get arrested, that they are going to have a record.”
No stranger to hard work, growing up in Palestine, Texas, Green’s father passed away when she was 9. Her mother contracted rheumatoid arthritis and was basically bed-ridden when Green was 13, forcing her to become the parent to her siblings at a young age. When she was 14, Green was working to bring in money by working at a gas station. She was the first person in her family to graduate from college and the only one in her family to obtain a PhD.
“I started working at such a young age. We didn’t go out on Saturdays — Saturday was a work day — until the work was done. I think the message that hard work pays off was instilled in me at a young age,” Green said.
Green said she worked to instill that same work ethic in her two sons. “They may not always do what I want them to do — that was the hardest thing for me to realize — they want to do things on their own. At some point you have to let it go and say ‘just do your best.’ ”
Green has been a driving force in founding the Republican Women of North Collin County. In December of 2010, she rounded up 10 other women and founded the organization because she felt there was a need for a political organization for women in Northern Collin County. Currently serving as president of the organization, Green confesses to being most passionate about the programing for each meeting.
“We are known for our programs,” Green said. “The group has grown to about 100 members and associate members and more and more people want to come and see what we are about.”
But sitting on the Child Protective Services board has been one of the most rewarding positions she has held Green said.
“It is heartbreaking to learn that children are removed from homes in the dark of night,” Green said. “The Children’s Advocacy Center has opened up their second branch here in McKinney. Drugs are rampant in our County. Frisco and McKinney have horrible things that go on with children right here. Child abuse and drug abuse know no socio-economic boundaries.
“I am just surprised about how many children get removed from their homes and about the horrendous acts of violence that happen to children.”
Being a natural born leader who is driven by a need to control, and a person who “gets bored very easily” pushes Green to continue her service to the community and to seek out opportunities for career and personal growth.
“I like to learn new things. If something needs to be done, I’ll take it upon myself to do it,” Green said. When asked to describe herself in two words, she said “very highly driven — that’s three words, but I’m very highly driven.” Green’s long list of accomplishments and community service validate just that.
Upcoming meetings of the Republican Women of North Collin County
Tuesday, August 13, “Conversation with the Commissioners”– Judge Self and all four Commissioners
Tuesday, September 10 – “State of the State” presented by Lt. Governor David Dewhurst
Tuesday, November 12 – George P. Bush — Candidate for Land Commissioner
All meetings are held at Stonebriar Country Club, from 11a.m to 1 p.m. with a buffet lunch served. The cost is $20 per person. Reservations can be made online www.rwncc.org.