For brothers Art Maglinger and Woody Maglinger III, public service has been a path they’ve shared in common. Art is the current Daviess County jailer and Woody serves as deputy communications director in the Kentucky Governor’s Office. The two shared a special moment last week when Woody introduced Art to his boss, Governor Matt Bevin, at the Kentucky State Capitol and Governor’s Mansion.
“I’ve heard him speak before and I’ve been at different events of [the Governor], but this was the first time I officially got to meet him personally so it was pretty neat, ” said Art. “I’m very proud of what Woody is doing in public service at the state level and he’s very deserving of his position.”
The brothers have followed in the servant footsteps of generations before them. Their parents, Woody and Susan Maglinger were both school teachers, serving for an estimated 50 years combined, most of which was in the public system.
“Our parents and even our grandparents all instilled in us a very strong worth ethic and a sense of community,” Art said. “They were very dedicated to what they did and that showed to my siblings and I.”
Art began his career at the age of 22 as a police officer, later going on to serve as a detective before being appointed to the position of Daviess County jailer in 2017.
“I dreamed of being an FBI agent as a child,” Art said. “I didn’t fully appreciate what our local law enforcement did, but I really loved it once I started serving.”
Woody found his strengths in writing and teaching, but ironically was always interested in government and politics. He attributes his dad’s career as a high school history teacher.
“With my dad, I know his love for instilling current events and news and framing their worldview is one thing we always saw him doing with his students,” Woody said. “Then with watching Mom invest in her students at the elementary level, I know for both of them it was much more than an 8 to 3 job. They both were just very passionate about investing in those kids. By watching both of them we got to see in action the passion and devotion they had for thinking of others. It was just an innate thing we got to see from watching both of them.”
Woody was the communications director for Green River Area Development District before taking a position as communications director for Secretary Hal Heiner and the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. In December 2016, he accepted an appointment as press secretary for Kentucky’s 62nd governor, Matt Bevin, and was promoted to deputy director in 2018.
“Being a fan of history and politics and being a part of that on the front lines in real time has been a real blessing to do,” Woody said. “As a society we always look around and see these challenges and big problems, but I just love the idea of facing those head on and trying to make a difference. That’s what’s driven me.”
The drive that both brothers share has been grounded in something much bigger than public service however. Both men openly share their values and guidance comes from their faith in God.
“Faith for me personally is definitely the defining factor for how I make decisions, how I see the world, and how I interact with others,” Woody said. “We were blessed with a strong foundation in faith and we got to see our parents not only talk about it but live that out, which has framed my worldview.”
Art said his foundation in his faith give him a deeper understanding motivates him to do the right thing.
“We’re both of the Christian faith and I just think it contributes to our values and our sense of service maybe,” Art said.
As they have each served, there are overlapping similarities found within each of their areas.
“Even though I’m serving more of a county government position and Woody is at a state government position, it’s intertwined in that the issues that affect the county affect the state and vise versa,” Art said.
Woody said he and his brother have found a common bond through their service, experiencing a lot of the same challenges, just in a different geographical location.
“It can be very intense,” Art said of both their jobs. “Some days can be dark, but it has very rewarding moments and it has value at the end of the day.”