Judge Fleck honored for her service with We the People and other programs

About to welcome this year’s students to the state
competition of We the People, Judge Deborah D. Fleck, ret.
(J. Fleck) was given the Center for Civic Education’s “2018
Civic Virtue Award.” The award was a surprise, presented in
the Senate chamber by King County Councilmember Dave
Upthegrove, whom she had sworn-in as a state Representative
in the Capitol building many years ago during another state
competition of We the People. The plaque states the award is:
“For dedicated service in supporting Civics Education
for our students, our State and Emerging Democracies. You
are also recognized for providing outstanding support to
grateful teachers throughout the State. We salute you for a
job well done.”
The Center for Civic Education is a nonprofit,
nonpartisan organization. Based in California, the Center’s
programs are implemented with the assistance of a network
of public- and private-sector organizations and educational
leaders in every state and congressional district in the nation
and in more than eighty other countries, many of which are
emerging and advancing democracies.
Established in 1981, it grew into a national and
international organization through the successes of its
principal programs and publications, including We the
People: The Citizen and the Constitution, We the People:
Project Citizen, Foundations of Democracy, the Civitas
International Programs, the National Standards for Civics and
Government, and Res Publica: An International Framework
for Education in Democracy.
J. Fleck has participated in various roles with this
outstanding civics education program. She has served as
a judge at the congressional district, state and national
competitions in Washington D.C. In addition, she has
also participated in the international program, Civitas
International, in Northern Ireland, with other attendees from
around the world.
About the organization and competition Judge Fleck
“The national Center for Civic Education is a
powerhouse of remarkable programs that teach the principles
of democracy. Students who participate in the We the People
program develop critical thinking skills as well as a deep
understanding of American constitutional principles…in
competitions, particularly at the national level, they literally
took my breath away with the breadth and depth of their
knowledge and understanding.”
Remarkably, students who participate in the We the
People program compare favorably with college sophomores
in political science. According to a study by Educational
Testing Service, 82% of graduates vote compared to 48%
of students who don’t have the benefit of the We the People
J. Fleck was appointed to the King County Superior
Court bench by Governor Booth Gardner in 1992. She
was raised in Seattle, attended Franklin High School, the
University of Washington and the University of Puget Sound
(now Seattle University) School of Law, where she served as
one of the editors of the Law Review. She graduated with her
husband Clay in 1976.
In 2005, she received the Outstanding Judge Award
from the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) and the
President’s Award from the King County Bar Association
(KCBA). She has been recognized as the Jurist of the Year
by the Family Law Section of the WSBA and the Judge of
the Year by the Washington State Trial Lawyers (WSTLA,
now the WSAJ). She has also received the WSBA Award of
Merit, the Washington Women Lawyers’ Vanguard Award
and the Seattle University School of Law Distinguished Law
Graduate Award.
She was a member of the Board for Judicial
Administration (BJA) for 12 years. She served as co-chair of
the BJA along with former Chief Justice Gerry Alexander. In
addition to serving as president of the Superior Court Judges
Association, she was on the SCJA Legislative Committee
for 12 years, serving as chair for five. J. Fleck has served
on the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission
for almost 20 years and chaired the Workforce Diversity
Subcommittee for 15 years.

last updated march 2018