Christine Schaller to address graduating Saints of 2019
Saint Martin’s University alumna Christine Schaller will deliver a Commencement address to the graduating class of 2019 at Saint Martin’s. The address will take place on May 11 in the Marcus Pavilion during the graduation ceremony.
Schaller serves as the presiding judge for the Thurston County Superior Court, and her current role is a criminal judge serving on drug court. In 2012, she was elected to the Thurston County Superior Court. She acted as the Chief Judge at Family and Juvenile Court, where she heard family law matters, juvenile offender cases, and dependency cases from July 2015 through July 2017.
Schaller is the daughter of Ed Schaller Jr. and Rose Schaller, two Saint Martin’s alumni. She was active in student government and was captain of the cheerleading squad during her time at the university. She also participated in the Model Arab League, a competition that helps students learn about the politics and history of the Arab world, diplomacy, and public speaking. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Saint Martin’s with a degree in political science. She graduated Cum Laude in 1996 at Gonzaga University School of Law. For her professional achievement, Schaller was recognized by Saint Martin’s with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2018.
Schaller served as a Family and Juvenile court commissioner for almost eight years for Thurston County Superior Court before her election. She was named “Jurist of the Year” in 2009 by the Washington State Bar Association, Family Law Section. She was an associate attorney at the Olympia law firm of Foster, Foster and Schaller at the beginning of her legal career in 1996, where she worked on estate planning, criminal defense, probate, and family and juvenile law. Until she was appointed commissioner for the Family and Juvenile Court, she was a partner at the firm.
Schaller has also been appointed to leadership roles with the Thurston County Bar Association, Washington Women Lawyers Capitol Chapter, and Thurston County Volunteer Legal Services. She has also been active on community boards including the Child Care Action Council, Saint Martin’s Alumni Association, and United Community Aids Network, as well as being involved with the Thurston County Relay for Life as both a participant and a former captain for the team. She particularly seeks out opportunities to work with young people by speaking to students on Law Day or with Street Law classes and volunteering as a judge for the YMCA annual Mock Trial Competition.
“Our focus this year on service led us naturally to Christine Schaller to speak and deliver a charge to our graduates,” said university President Roy F. Heynderickx. “Her experience in public service and the leadership she has given to many organizations are accomplishments and experience that I know will resonate with our graduates. We all look forward to hearing from her.”