Gov. Pat McCrory has appointed Valerie Johnson Zachary of Yadkinville to the N.C. Court of Appeals.

Zachary will fill the vacancy left by the recent retirement of Judge Sanford L. Steelman Jr.

“Valerie Johnson Zachary brings to the Court of Appeals a first-class legal mind as well as a long history of practicing law at the community level,” McCrory said in a statement. “I am grateful she has accepted this appointment.”

Zachary, a Harvard Law School graduate, was a litigation associate with Kennedy, Covington, Lobdell & Hickman before becoming a partner at the Zachary Law Offices in Yadkinville.

Zachary ran for a seat on the Court of Appeals last November. She finished ninth out of 19 candidates running for a vacant seat.