Elizabeth Kellas Burton '81 | Handley 100th Notable
Elizabeth Kellas Burton ’81

Beth Kellas was the Chair of Handley’s Student Honor Court, Valedictorian of the Class of 1981 and Captain of the Cheerleading Team. She graduated, summa cum laude, as the top Public Administration student at James Madison University, and graduated in the top 10% of her class at the University of Virginia School of Law. While at UVA, she served as Chair of the Legal Aid Society assisting children and adults in the surrounding community.

Beth’s parents served as emergency foster parents for children during her childhood years, allowing her to witness first-hand the challenges children face in dealing with the effects of family instability.

After 12 years in private practice, the Virginia General Assembly appointed Judge Kellas as the first female Judge in the 26 th Circuit. She is in her 20 th year on the bench, currently serving as Chief Judge of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. She is known as a zealous advocate for children on and off the bench.

She has created and continues to work on numerous community collaboratives including creating a Systems of Care throughout Winchester/Frederick County and as a founding member on the Executive Committee of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition. Judge Kellas served as Chairman of the Board of the Top of Virginia Chamber of Commerce, was on the Winchester Medical Center Board, and served in leadership roles at Braddock Street United Methodist Church.
She currently serves as Steering Committee Chairperson for the Timbrook Achievement Center, a detention alternative program for truant and delinquent youth.

Judge Kellas has held numerous judicial leadership roles through the Supreme Court of Virginia, speaks frequently at national and state conferences on many child-related topics, and trains all new Juvenile Court Judges.
Judge Kellas has been recognized as Business and Professional Woman’s Young Careerist, Commonwealth Leadership Award – Statewide BPW Award, and Winchester/Frederick County Woman of the Year.

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