About Gloria R. Hayward, Clerk of Circuit Court
I began my career in the Sumter County Clerk’s office in August 1969 as a senior at Wildwood High School. A Former Clerk, C. Burton Marsh, allowed me to work half a day while in the Cooperative Business Education program. After graduation, he offered me a full-time deputy clerk position in September 1970. I started in the recording/finance department and later transferred to the court's division. In 1974, I was promoted to supervisor of the county court division, and I managed that division for 26 years while serving under three elected Clerks.
Mr. Marsh was a great teacher, and he taught me the importance of processing and preserving documents and customer service. My dad taught me the importance of honesty, integrity, respecting others, and hard work. I apply all of these principles each day, and this has helped me reach my goal of being an elected Clerk of the Circuit Court.
In the Florida Constitution, the position of Clerk was established for two purposes. First, there needed to be a secure place to file the land records, so the Clerk became the “Public Trustee” of all records. As Public Trustee, all the records processed have to be microfilmed or imaged to ensure the preservation of the public records for future generations, as this is the history of our county.
Second, the Clerk’s position was created, so there would be a check and balance within county government for the Board of County Commissioners and the Courts. I feel that we are the hub of county government as just about everything goes through our office and most of it stays, so maintaining accurate accessible records and good customer service is our top priority. The Clerk operates under the Florida Constitution, Florida Statutes, Supreme Court Rules, Local Orders, and Ordinances, so everything we do is established by law.