Two Maryland sisters are making history as the first sisters to serve on the state bench simultaneously, according to WUSA 9. Daneeka Varner Cotton and Donnaka Varner Lewis are both judges in Prince George’s County and their family and community could not be prouder.
Varner Cotton, the older of the two, is an associate judge for the Prince George’s Circuit Court, 7th Judicial Circuit, while her younger sister, Varner Lewis, is an associate judge for the District Court of Maryland, District 5 in Prince George’s County.
The sisters credit their mother, Linda Varner Mount, for instilling discipline and the drive to work hard in them at a very tender age.
“She instilled in us the importance of hard work, the importance of education, the importance of family, the importance of our community,” said Varner Cotton, who had always wanted to be a judge.
According to her, the dream of sitting on a bench was ignited in her soul when a female judge visited their school. Now, she is living her dream together with her sister and they cheer each other on most of the time.
“It’s so nice to walk into the courthouse and have my sister here too,” Varner Cotton said.
Their proud mother pursued education to the highest level. She is a retired Agriculture Department employee and holds a doctorate in education with an emphasis in personnel management.
According to Linda, it was vital to impart in her children the need to work toward their goals at an early age and it all worked out. Her middle child, Geoffrey Mount Varner, MD is a successful emergency room physician and all three of her children are thriving in their chosen field of work.
“One of the most important lessons I taught and demonstrated to my children — even when you confront difficult situations in life, you find the courage to power through them to achieve your goals,” Varner Mount said.
The three siblings attained their bachelor’s at the Hampton University, a historically Black college in Virginia. The sister judges received their Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law.