Yosemite High School won the 2018-2019 Honorable Edward P. Moffat Madera County Mock Trial held on Jan. 17, 24 and 26. Yosemite High School battled Liberty, Madera, and Madera South High Schools.
Yosemite High’s defense and Madera South High School’s prosecution teams competed in the championship round on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. Yosemite won the competition and will attend the State Mock Trial on behalf of Madera County.
“Teams this year were extremely competitive,” said Dr. Cecilia Massetti, Madera County superintendent of schools. “The competition was fierce and all students did a great job.”
Yosemite High School will represent Madera County at the state competition March 22-24, 2019 in Sacramento. Team members include Mia Adelizi, William Bates, Macy Bazzar, Hannah Beaumont, Lauren Bernardi, Jack Dindia, Emma Fries, Makayla Jeffries, Linnea Leinau, Maya Magdeleno, Sophia McGoldrick, Isabella Peter, Leslie Ramirez, Gannaen Skeahan, Cale Sweeney, Jasmine Tanoury, Stevie Trujillo, Madison Washburn, and Abigail Williams.
The team was coached by Matt Skeahan and Deborah Brown. Local attorney Bernie McGoldrick also coached the team.
Madera County will also be sending a courtroom journalist to the state competition. Kaelo Mohulski from Yosemite High School won the courtroom journalist competition. She reported on one of the trials from Tuesday, Jan. 17.
“We are excited to have a student journalist represent Madera County at the state competition,” said Massetti. “We wish all of the students the best of luck during the next round of competition.”
During the fictional case People vs. Klein, Reagan Klein was tried for making a false report of an emergency and making a criminal threat. Mock Trial students also discussed the First Amendment during the pretrial argument.
The Mock Trial is a simulation of a criminal court case in which the students act as attorneys, witnesses, bailiffs and clerks. Attorneys from throughout the valley scored the students’ performance.
Yosemite High School has competed for all 35 years of competition in Madera and has won 28 times.
Each team was coached by attorneys as well as teachers in preparation for the trial. The Liberty team was coached by teacher Laura Markle and Claire Copher; the Madera team was coached by teacher Michael Horder and attorney Traci Wise; Madera South was coached by teacher Rodia Montgomery-Gentry and attorneys Rachel Cartier, Noah Marshall and David Peterson.
Judge Dale Blea, Judge Ernest LiCalsi and Judge Michael Jurkovich presided over the trials. The Mock Trial was held on three separate days and teams participated in four rounds of competition.
The Mock Trial and other student academic events are supported by Madera County Superintendent of Schools and Madera County Schools Foundation through community and business donations and volunteers. Madera County Superior Court co-sponsored the Mock Trial.
California Rights Foundation provided the trial cases.