(Top Row from Left: Lilly Humber, Grace Murphy, Alexandra May, Tess Hayden; Center Row from Left: Saffron Bennett-Spurlock, Carolyn Johnsen, Lola Faix, with judges. Not pictured: Emma Seneshen.)
Preparation, performance, professionalism. After five undefeated rounds against challengers in Zoom courtrooms in Colorado High School Mock Trial on Saturday, St. Mary's Academy was declared the winner among 20 teams representing 17 high schools in the finals. They will represent Colorado at the national competition in May.
"it was a very competitive tournament this year and all of the students were great, so the winners should be very proud, said Amy Streenen, State Coordinator. "The national event will also be virtual, so they should be well prepared for the platform."
In addition, two SMA students received individual awards:
- Witness Awards
- Best Avery Becker: Saffron Bennett-Spurlock (2nd Place)
- Best Overall Witness: Saffron Bennett-Spurlock (2nd Place)
- Attorney Awards
- Best Overall Attorney: Lilly Humber (8th Place)
Both SMA and their final round contender, Regis Jesuit High School, received top ratings for professionalism. "What goes with professionalism is integrity," said Denver County Court Judge Gary Jackson, who brought 50 years of experience as an attorney and judge to the competition.
St. Mary's Academy had three teams totaling 29 students in the Arapahoe Country regional competition, where SMA fielded the 2nd place team that advanced to the state championship. More than 900 students representing 78 teams from 45 high schools across the state participated this year.
Since 1985, the Colorado Bar Association (CBA) has proudly sponsored the Colorado High School Mock Trial Program. Hundreds of attorneys, judges, teachers, and other community leaders volunteer their time to instruct students about the judicial system and the trial process through the program where students play the role of attorneys and witnesses in a fictitious case. Students develop life skills such as team work and collaboration, goal setting, strategic planning and implementation, productive argumentative and persuasive skills, critical thinking skills, and the ability to face challenging obstacles with enthusiasm, professionalism and confidence.