High school mock trial competitions are usually the domain of public and private school teams. This year several home schooled students from Austin and the surrounding area formed a team and won their district title! The CITE Academy team is made of Ben Snodgrass, Marshall Yaklin, Shepherd Yaklin, Alexandra Noll, Joshua Upham, Phillip Strack, Stephen Strack, Jacob Philip and Katherine Schlaudraff. Only one student had any previous experience in mock trial. The team attended a summer camp and received excellent coaching from Karen Reynolds during the mock trial season.
The mock trial program in Texas is administered by The Dallas Bar Association. All tournaments are judged by local attorneys, many of whom competed in mock trial when they were students. The Austin district title has been held by a local private school for the last six or seven years, so the win by a novice team is quite an accomplishment. CITE Academy will advance to the state mock trial competition in Dallas.