Students at Marcos de Niza High School pride themselves in keeping track of their campus success stories, including grads who have brought pride and recognition to their alma mater.
Enter Erin O’Brien Otis.
A 1994 Marcos grad, Otis received her law degree from ASU’S College of Law in 2002. From there she was hired as a deputy county attorney, and in 2010 was named the office’s Prosecutor of the Year.
Her appointment as a Superior Court judge was announced in September, followed in mid-January at a traditional investiture ceremony, an observance that confers on the recipient the authority and symbolism of the office.
It was here that Marcos students showed their reverence for a grad who has helped perpetuate the school’s trademark, “Padre Pride.”
On hand for the formalizing ceremony was a group of current Marcos students, all members of this year’s regiment of Junior ROTC cadets. The group’s color guard presided at the event, held at the Board of Supervisors auditorium in Phoenix.
Participating were cadets Isaac Yepiz, Amando Acosta, Cassidy Wright and Jacob Harold.
In appointing Otis to the bench, Gov. Doug Ducey said: “Erin is nationally recognized for her expertise in sex crimes and human trafficking cases. Her experience as a commissioner on both the family law and criminal law benches will make her an outstanding addition to the court.”
Only last October, the same cadets participated in an investiture ceremony for then-newly appointed Maricopa Superior Court Judge Kristin Culbertson.
More than 200 students from all seven of Tempe Union’s high schools participate in the district’s JROTC program, according to district spokeswoman Jill Hanks. They are under the direction of Major Robert Fore.
JROTC is a federal program sponsored by the U.S. Armed Forces in high schools across the country.