There has been much activity at the 19th Judicial Circuit. Circuit Judge Valerie Boettle Ceckowski announced that she is retiring from the bench on January 29, 2021, after 24 years of service. We have counted on her strong leadership, compassion and wisdom in her many years as chief judge of our juvenile court. Her dedication and passion for our children and families was clear as we watched her make countless difficult decisions in the hundreds of challenging cases before her. She has made a profound impact on innumerable children’s lives and their families in Lake County. We wish her the best in her retirement, she will be sorely missed.
We welcome Judge Jorge Ortiz who will be replacing Judge Ceckowski. He was chief judge of the 19th Judicial Circuit from 2016-2018 and been part of the the 19th judicial circuit since 2002. We look forward to working with him.
Also, there has been a tremendous increase in cases entering the abuse and neglect court in the past few months. Our waitlist is steadily growing and we are addressing the demand by hiring more staff members. But we require your help. Our need for more volunteer advocates is now more urgent than ever. Please reach out to friends and relatives and help spread awareness of our need for more CASA volunteers. Together, I know we can serve all children waiting for a CASA.