Crescenta Valley High mock trial team makes school history

Photo by Helen KANTOR Crescenta Valley High School’s mock trial team, under the direction of math teach Sierra Vasquez and practicing criminal defense lawyer William Monterroso, advanced to the quarterfinals in the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s Mock Trial Program on Nov. 17.

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The 2009-2010 mock trial team at Crescenta Valley High School made history Nov. 17 by advancing to the quarterfinals in the Constitutional Rights Foundation’s Mock Trial Program. To date, no other team at CVHS has made it this far.

The prosecution and defense teams had the opportunity to argue their side twice during the first four rounds of the competition. CVHS math teacher, Sierra Vasquez, has coached the team for six years with unwavering support. William Monterroso, a practicing criminal defense lawyer, joined the team as their professional mentor.

“These students inspire me,” said Vasquez. “They balance so many activities in addition to mock trial, which encourages critical thinking and promotes teamwork.”

The team was energized by CVHS principal Dr. Michele Doll who attended the trial during the quarterfinal round.

“Seeing our students in action performing at the mock trial competition was amazing. They were poised, articulate and very prepared. I was so proud of all of our students, and proud to be a Falcon!” said Doll.

The initial round of trials included 64 schools, and by the quarterfinals that pool shrank to only eight. The case given this year to all teams by the Constitutional Rights Foundation involved cyber-bullying and assault with a deadly weapon. Trials were held at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles.