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Ellen Sly Masters

Distinguished Alumni May 2009

Ellen Sly Masters is a Circuit Judge in the Tenth Judicial Circuit and is serving as the Administrative Judge in the Family Division. This division handles domestic violence, custody, some adoptions, paternity, and divorce.
Judge Masters received her Associate of Arts degree from Polk State College (known then as Polk Community College) in 1983. She was the first recipient of the Board of Trustees Academic Achievement Award for achieving a 4.0 grade point average. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 1985 and her Juris Doctorate from Stetson University in 1989.

Ellen worked for Richard D. Mars for five years, and then shared his practice for a year before opening her own practice in 1994. In December of 1999, Governor Jeb Bush appointed her to serve as a Judge for Polk County, and she then closed her private practice. In 2001, Ellen ran unopposed and retained her seat, but a short time later Jeb Bush appointed her to the 10th Judicial Circuit. Her initial term was two years, and she ran unopposed in 2004. Her second term expired in 2010.

Most of her free time is spent participating in legal-oriented organizations, playing tennis, and spending time with her husband of 30 years, Buddy, who works for the Lakeland Police Department, and her son Brant, 24 (a Polk State alum) and her son Mac, 21 (a Polk State student).