With a heartfelt countenance, Judge Angela Fonnesbeck was sworn into the 1st District Court bench on Thursday evening.

She was draped in her robe by her husband after serving nearly five years as a juvenile court judge. She is filling the vacancy of retired Judge Kevin K. Allen.

“She has so much to offer,” said Judge Thomas Willmore. “She can make a big difference.”

Willmore, during a brief introduction of Fonnesbeck, said she was the first woman to be appointed to the 1st District Court bench in its 123 years of existence.

But “today is about Angela Fonnesbeck,” Willmore said, not about gender. 

Willmore said he had watched Fonnesbeck for 14 years in very difficult cases.

“Always, she was bright,” Willmore said. “Angela was an excellent attorney.”

Fonnesbeck addressed the court of over 80 observers about the difficulties of change and her affection toward the juvenile court staff. She said nothing about them reflects on her decision to leave a job she loves.

“It’s been my honor to serve with those people,” Fonnesbeck said.

She thanked her parents for teaching her the value of hard work and endowing her with the ability to “dream big.” She thanked her family and friends. And she thanked her husband.

“Best teammate ever,” Fonnesbeck said.

She spoke to the difficulty of her new position and the high standards she holds for the court.

“We do good work here because we have incredible staff,” Fonnesbeck said. “I believe in what we do.”

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