Pierce County judge earns state judicial award

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Kitty-Ann van Doorninck was honored by the state’s judiciary for outstanding contributions to youth and public education concerning the legal system.

Judge van Doorninck was awarded the Washington Judges’ Foundation 2013 Judge William Nevins Award at the Washington State Fall Judicial Conference. She was nominated by the board of Safe Streets, the community organization formed to combat crime in local neighborhoods, as well as by her peers on the Superior Court bench.

Van Doorninck served for many years on the board of Safe Streets, beginning when she was a deputy county prosecutor in the late 1990s.

“Kitty-Ann’s active leadership and role modeling made a large difference to youth and inspired them to keep up their work,” Safe Streets Executive Director Priscilla Lisicich wrote in her nomination letter. “She understood the importance of following the best practice of supporting the development of their skills, giving them an opportunity to try different strategies to prevent unhealthy and unsafe activity and then to give them recognition by showing up and actively supporting their activities.”

Judge van Doorninck also served as Pierce County Superior Court’s first full-time Family Court judge, chaired state committees that monitor family and juvenile law and currently serves as Presiding Judge of Juvenile Court.

She also has volunteered for years as an organizer and judge for the “We the People” high school civics competition, serves on the grant committee for the Fund for Women and Girls, is a senior fellow in the American Leadership Forum, and remains involved in a multitude of other community activities.

“It’s a great honor to receive the Nevins Award, especially when I look at the list of past recipients,” said Judge van Doorninck. “As a judge, I’ve always felt the most important work I do revolves around families and young people. Many of my colleagues in Pierce County and around the state donate a great deal of time helping families in a variety of ways, including through community education. I’m happy to share this award with them.”

The Washington Judges Foundation was created in 1999 with the help of a $50,000 bequest from the estate of Lincoln County Superior Court Judge William Nevins. The Nevins Award is given annually to a person who contributes significantly to youth education or public understanding of the law and the role of the judiciary in American society.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Kitty-Ann van Doorninck. (PHOTO COURTESY PIERCE COUNTY)
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Kitty-Ann van Doorninck. (PHOTO COURTESY PIERCE COUNTY)