SALT LAKE CITY — A former teacher and advocate for children in Utah's justice system has been named the state's newest juvenile court judge.

Elizabeth M. Knight, director of the Office of Guardian ad Litem since 2013, was tapped Wednesday by Gov. Gary Herbert to a judgeship in 3rd District Juvenile Court. Upon confirmation by the Utah Senate, Knight will succeed Judge Christine S. Decker who retired earlier this year.

"Ms. Knight's extensive experience working with children and her dedication to working with and advocating for families and youth will serve the 3rd Judicial District well," Herbert said. "I am confident she will perform her new role with compassion and integrity."

Knight helped establish a statewide program with the Office of Guardian ad Litem, which provides attorneys for children and teenagers in cases of alleged abuse, neglect, and dependency in the juvenile courts. She has also directed the Office of Administrative Hearings and served as an administrative law judge for the Department of Human Services.

In 2003 and 2004, Knight taught two sixth-grade classes in the Granite School District.

"I am committed to helping children and their families, and look forward to serving the citizens of the state of Utah in this capacity," Knight said of the appointment.

Knight is a member of the Utah Bar Association and the Family Law, Juvenile Law and Women Lawyers sections. She received a master's degree in education from the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah and holds a juris doctorate from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law.

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