Santa Cruz County Office of Education Photo montage
Educational Services Division

Students Shine in Mock Trial Competition

Mock Trial 2011

The scene in the courtroom before the announcement is made about the winning Mock Trial team.

“Objection, your honor. That question requires a narrative,” said one Santa Cruz High School student in a firm voice last weekend during the final of the annual Mock Trial competition between area high schools.

“Sustained. Next question please,” Superior Court Judge Jeff Almquist said to the Scotts Valley High School prosecutor from behind the bench.

Mock Trial 2011

Santa Cruz High team member Riley Mallory speaks before Judge Jeff Almquist.

The exchange was a typical one in the Watsonville Superior Court for the past two weekends as students in Mock Trial clubs from seven Santa Cruz County high schools squared off in the annual competition sponsored by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education.

The teams debated the case “People v. Woodson,” for three days before Scotts Valley High School emerged victorious over Santa Cruz High in a closely-debated final round on Monday, February 21.

Mock Trial 2011

Scotts Valley High’s Maiya Moncino accepts an award from Superintendent Michael Watkins and Judge Jeff Almquist.

The case pitted an 18-year-old defendant accused of assault with a deadly weapon and cyber bullying against the state, which represented a 13-year-old middle school student.

Almquist, who resided over the final round between the two schools, was impressed by the performance of both sides.

“Kids today watch a lot of T.V.,” said Judge Almquist. “These kids can’t do that. They practice three or four or five days a week. It’s like an extension of a really good school debate class.”

Mock Trial 2011

Scotts Valley High, the winning team.

Teams from Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz, Harbor, Soquel, Aptos, St. Francis and Watsonville high schools took turns as prosecutors and defense. The teams spent most of the school year preparing for the case.

“I really enjoy it because in Mock Trial you have to work as a team, but it’s also challenging individually,” Santa Cruz High junior Carmela Roberts said. “Every person has to put their heart into it in order to win.”

The winning team from Scotts Valley High, will compete at the California state competition the weekend of March 25 in Riverside.

Mock Trial 2011

Santa Cruz High, the second place team.

Here are the awards presented at the conclusion of the three-day competition in Watsonville.

For more information about the Mock Trial competition contact Martine Watkins at (831) 466-5705.

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