El Paso Native, Bowie Alumni, Wife, Mother, Utep Alumni Judge for Re-election
A lifelong resident of El Paso, Diane Rosaura Navarrete grew up in the South-Central part of the city with her mother Gloria and her brothers Larry and Ron. While they did not have monetary wealth they had love, faith, and a solid work ethic. Diane started working various part-time jobs at the age of 16 to help contribute to the household.
She attended Bowie High School and is a proud Bear. Her Aunt Rosita Macias Van Swerigen was a graduate of Bowie High School’s first graduating class. She became one of the first Mexican-American female officers in the Army specializing in nursing. Her Aunt Rosita’s struggles and accomplishments are an ongoing inspiration for Diane. Her Aunt Rosita’s portrait hangs in her office as a reminder of where she comes from.
Diane’s mom instilled an appreciation for education and the question in her home was not if she was going to college but when.
Diane realized she wanted to be an attorney after her 7th-grade teacher at Guillen Middle School assigned a speech project on different career choices. She decided to attend UTEP, so she could work and save money for law school. While at UTEP she worked at Western Playland, the Sears Hearing Aid Center and Mervyn’s Department Store. After college, she attended the University of Nebraska College of Law where she received her Juris Doctorate Degree.
In Nebraska, she still had to work to support herself to cover costs not covered by her scholarship. While in law school she worked in the Dean’s office and during the summers as a CLEO (Council on Legal Education Opportunities) teaching assistant at both Ohio State University and Notre Dame.
After law school, Diane returned to El Paso. While studying for the bar she worked part-time jobs at Johnson and Johnson Medical and Security Capital. After she passed the bar, she was hired to work at the District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney from January 1998 to December 2012.
While in the District Attorney’s Office she handled misdemeanor and felony cases. She was assigned to the Domestic Violence Unit, the Drug Task Force, Intake section and the following courts: County Court Number One, County Court Number Three, County Court Number Four, 34th Impact Court (now Criminal District Court Number One), 120th District Court, 205th District Court, 384th District Court, and the 34th District Court.
As a prosecutor and a judge, Diane has a reputation for being fair, respectful, and open-minded.
Outside the courthouse Diane serves the community as a member of the Junior League of El Paso. She has worked on several projects to include:
*Project 2013 (mentoring female students from Bowie High School),
*Field of Dreams through the Miracle League (helping to build and volunteering at the field to provide a place for special needs children to play and learn team work),
*Independence House (a program to help and mentor victims of domestic violence), and
*Developing Dreams (a program for children of Segundo Barrio to learn to express themselves through photography).
Diane has also worked with the Women’s Bar Association to run the Positive Role Model program that mentors 5th graders at Aoy Elementary School in Segundo Barrio. She is proud to have been involved in this program as a prosecutor and later as a Judge for over 10 years. She is also a member of the El Paso Bar Association, the Westside Democrats, Texas Democratic Party (Share builders) and as associate member of the Black El Paso Democrats.
In 2000, Diane met Ruben Beltran Del Rio, who would become her life partner and help provide balance and love in her life.
In 2007, Diane became a member of ACTS (Adoration, Community, Theology and Service). This experience brought her a sense of peace and a renewed drive to serve the community.
In 2008, Diane became a mother to Ryan, one of her proudest moments. Becoming a mother made Diane reaffirm her belief in the importance of family and service to others. Ryan provided a bridge to building a better relationship with her father Lorenzo Navarrete-Mena. Diane’s parents divorced when she was 4 years old and her father’s work as a migrant field worker made it difficult to maintain a close relationship. After Ryan was born, her father moved back to El Paso and they were able to work on improving their relationship.
February 2011, the biggest influence in Diane’s life, her mother Gloria Macias Navarrete died after a prolonged illness. Diane’s Mom worked for the EPISD Transportation Department as a bus driver and monitor for over 20 years. When Diane was a senior in high school, her mother held three jobs to support her and her brothers. Aside from her job with the school district, she would work nights at Circle K and weekends as a hotel chambermaid. Hard work and adversity are things that Diane is not afraid of. Her mother taught her that you can accomplish anything when you set your mind to it.
October 2011, Diane decided she could best serve the El Paso community by running for Criminal District Court Number One. This court had suffered a major setback when the newly elected judge of the court was indicted and convicted in federal court.
In 2012, Diane was elected Judge of Criminal District Number One. Diane brought back integrity and respect to this Court and has been working hard for the community for the past seven years.
In the past seven years, she has become a member of the National Association of Women Judges, a member the Council of Judges jury duty court committee, a member and currently the chair of the El Paso County Purchasing Board, one of two judges for the Women’s RSAT Drug Aftercare Program (now known as the WARrior Court (Women’s Addiction and Recovery Court), a member and currently the treasurer of the State Bar of Texas Criminal Law Section, and a member of the State Bar of Texas drug protocols committee of judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors and drug experts created to deal with the backlog of drug testing by DPS.
With the support of the El Paso community, Diane will continue to serve as Judge of Criminal District Court Number One. Continuing to provide this Court with Experience, Integrity and Respect.