St. Patrick’s middle school students represented the school for the first time at the Des Moines Regional Mock Trial competition in Des Moines on Friday, Nov. 10. The group of twelve 6-8 grade students made up St. Patrick School’s first-ever mock trial team.


The program is under the direction of Mock Trial Coach, Ms. Spellman, a sixth through eighth grade social studies and religion teacher at St. Pat’s. Diaz is currently the Assistant-Coach for Mock Trial at Perry Community Schools and had taken ten students to the Des Moines competition in the past.


In addition, students were assisted by Attorney-Coach, Annemarie Spellman McDevitt.


Principal Eddie Diaz took the group to the Des Moines competition.


“We went up against two powerhouses, Waukee and Johnston,” Diaz said. “I don’t know exactly how we did, but we held our own and ultimately we’re just going to be better next year for it.”


Eighth grade students were a little nervous about the competition, they described.


Marielena Ramirez, 8th grader, played an Attorney on the prosecution side.


“I really like asking questions,” Ramirez said. “When I was seeing the other people I was quite nervous, but then when I started I got more confident as it went by and I started to like it [competing].”


“I decided to join Mock Trial because I thought it would be a good experience to do something new and I thought it would be fun and I am glad I joined Mock Trial.”


Both David Roberts and Ashley Macias, 8th graders, played Attorneys on the defense side.


“I thought it would be fun to ask questions,” Macias said about choosing to become an attorney. “I was nervous and had knots in my stomach and I was shaking, but it was fun.”


Roberts enjoyed competing against other schools during the event.


“I thought it would be something interesting to do outside of school that works your brain and sparks your ideas,” Roberts said. “I thought the actual competition was a lot of fun.”


The activity has many benefits, Spellman describes.


“I think it’s beneficial because it’s an activity that gets you out of your comfort zone, it gives you a chance to practice your public speaking,” Spellman said. “Especially for the witnesses, they don’t get to have anything on the stand with them, so when they’re called to the stand to testify, so they have to know their character and they have to also speak up.”


Principal Diaz said the official results from the competition will be mailed to the school.