A lifelong desire to serve the greater good has propelled Maria Ingram Barton ’82 on an impressive career that has led to a judgeship in Michigan. From childhood, inspired by a television series, Maria knew that she wanted to become part of our nation’s judicial system. She felt a strong desire to “make a difference.”
While at SHS Maria played varsity softball, participated in gymnastics and was a majorette in the Whippet Band.
She then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Ohio University and a juris doctorate degree at the University of Toledo. While at Toledo she worked for three years as an intern in the Public Defender’s office. After passing the bar exam, Maria began practicing law. Then in 1992 she began fighting crime as a special prosecutor for SANE (Straits Area Drug Enforcement), serving six Michigan counties. Simultaneously she served as an assistant county prosecutor. In 2008 she received the Michigan Prosecuting Attorney’s Association Service Award and was recognized by a United States senator as a Crime Fighting Mom of the Year.
In that same year, sensing that she could make “a bigger positive difference” in the judicial process, she was elected judge for a six-year term, serving Michigan’s 89th District. In 2016 Maria was elected for another six-year term.
Observes an alum, “Maria stands as a classic example of an individual who sees a widespread need and takes the actions necessary to strengthen society.”
She and her husband and daughter live in Indian River, Michigan.
Nominator: Mike Johnson ’63.