2017-11-01 / Spotlight

Bench Mark

Pamela Ruest | President Judge Centre County Court of Common Pleas

When Pamela Ruest ran for the Centre County Court of Common Pleas in 2007, she made history as the first female candidate — and then, when she won, first female judge. In August, following the retirement of Thomas Kistler, she became the first female president judge.

“I’m honored to have broken through that barrier,” Ruest says. “And I’m honored that the community trusts me in this position.”

Ruest is excited about the county’s planned drug court, set to begin in January. “We’re initially going to deal with people who have had their probation or parole revoked due to drug issues,” she explains. “The goal is to focus on treatment and to keep them from committing more crimes.”

Before the Nov. 7 vote in which she’ll run for retention, we caught up with Ruest at the Centre County Courthouse to see what, besides her husband, Jeff Jones, keeps this judge well balanced.

“The AAUW Book Sale is one of my favorite things to do. For many years I waited in line starting at 7 a.m. so I could be one of the first people in when the doors opened. My first stops have always been cookbooks and piano music. I also like mystery novels.”

“We’ve expanded our patio area and did a lot of landscaping two or three years ago, and it’s honestly an oasis. I get home from work and we sit there for a while. We eat out there whenever we can.”

“I love chocolate, preferably dark. I am currently somewhat addicted to Chocolates by Leopold in Boalsburg. Their peanut butter truffles are amazing. My husband will go in and buy me truffles for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, my birthday and sometimes just as a surprise!”

“I have been going to an early morning boot-camp style exercise class for more than seven years now. With interval training, every day is something different. It’s a good way to get energized and work off aggravations.”

“I’ve been involved with the Arts Festival since soon after I moved here in the 1980s. They had this amazing jazz saxophonist and I thought, ‘What a wonderful place to move to!’ So I got involved and have volunteered every year. I treat myself to a different Creamery ice cream flavor every day of the festival!”

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