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Letter to the editor
Mock trial support appreciated by all
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Forsyth County News


We would like to thank the Honorable Russell McClelland, the sponsoring judge for the Cumming (Region 17) Regional Mock Trial Competition, other members of the planning committee including regional coordinator Melissa Banker, James Wilson, Sandy Mauldin, the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Georgia, and members of the Cumming-Forsyth Bar Association for providing Forsyth County students with an opportunity to participate for a second year in a regional Mock Trial Competition in their own community.

Mock Trial has been a tradition in Forsyth County since the Georgia High School Program began. Kathy Vail, who was an American government teacher at Forsyth Central at that time, worked with local attorneys and judges to begin the program here. Many of our local practicing attorneys got their first taste of the law experience in their high school government classes. This was expanded and refined when they had an opportunity to join and compete in the highly competitive and academically-focused Georgia Mock Trial Competition sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar. In its early years, students were coached by local attorneys including Judge McClelland, Judge Bagley, and Judge Dickinson.

For many years, Judge Stan Gault, who was an ardent supporter of Mock Trial, presided over practices, discussed with students how they could improve their individual deliveries, and assisted teacher coaches with legal questions. He and his wife Paula Gault attended state competitions and banquets in support of local students. In tribute to judge Gault’s dedication to Mock Trial, a trophy will be presented in his name to this year’s winning team, North Forsyth High School, at the Law Day ceremonies.

Judges McClelland, Dickinson, and Bagley have continued the tradition of personal involvement. In addition to spending countless hours working with our high school students, they and Judge Smith have been involved in introducing elementary school students to the law. Because of the involvement of these leaders in the legal community, they have become not only mentors but friends to our teachers and students.

We would also like to thank the city and county governments, school officials, Rotary Clubs, Paula Gault-Hughes, and local businesses for their support.

Ann Reid, Social Studies Coordinator, Forsyth County Schools

Michele Dugan, Coach-FCHS

Jeremy Hamm, Coach-WFHS

Eric Lauterbach, Coach-LHS

Barbara Macko, Coach-Pinecrest

Melissa Smith, Coach-SFHS

Kathy Vail, Coach-NFHS