The following is a letter from CPSA high school teacher and coach of the CPSA Speech and Debate club, Br Asim Gaffar, regarding the school’s steller showing the weekend before last at the Illinois State Mock Trial Tournament:
Alhamdullilah last Friday-Sunday CPSA competed at the Illinois State Bar Association’s Mock Trial State Tournament. Without question, we had our best year ever masha Allah and as always this is due to the efforts of our amazing students and the dedication, coaching and passion from Sister Huma Zia who has been volunteer coaching CPSA for the past 3 years with this year alone spending hundreds of hours. I have her cced in this email.
For me, the most important thing is establishing a love of the field of law and encouraging our students to enter into the field in these very troubling times. Medicine, engineering and IT all have their place, but we need more Muslims in the field of law. Alhamdullilah out of the 10 students competing, at least half are seriously pursuing law in sha Allah!
For the first time ever CPSA won 2 trials defeating Providence Catholic High School and Normal West High School. These weren’t just wins, but absolutely stunning slam dunks. When we first began Mock Trial 4 years ago we faced Providence and they beat us resoundingly. Trials are very cut throat and our students, with proper respect and decorum, destroyed and embarrassed those schools. I truly wish all of you were there to see it. Normal West High School packed the room with parents, friends and guests and they were all in shock to what CPSA did to their kids.
In addition we had a 3rd trial against Glenbard South. This school has been on the circuit since 1983 and has placed in the top more times than almost any other school. I didn’t know this until seeing their record. Our trial against them was close, but after reviewing the case breakdown I believe we also won this trial as well!
For 2nd year in a row Jamiel Abed was named Best Witness at state masha Allah! And for the first time ever, CPSA had a Best Lawyer at state (a difficult award)! Ammara Ashraf took home this award and impressed many of the judges/lawyers with her extremely effective take down of a witness during cross-examination.
As someone who competed in mock trial before, I can tell you none of this is easy and all of our students are better than I was in high school and most of the people I competed against. Mock trial is unlike any other competition we do in CPSA and it is hard to describe the level of difficulty and preparation involved. None of this would be possible without Sister Huma and I wish I could properly thank her for everything she has done over the years. May Allah (swt) reward her immensely and let these students be sources of sadaqah jarriyah as they use the skills she taught them to serve the community. Ameen!
In addition, we have been very fortunate to have Abdullah Moizuddin be the captain of the team for 3 years, Hamza Memon attending a mock trial intensive camp at Stanford University in the summer and other amazing seniors including Ammara Ashraf, Maryam Ahmad, Abdullah Khaja and Maleeha Rasheed.
Underclass students included Hashir Azam, Jamiel Abed, Aneeza Ahmad and Shahnaaz Sakkaria. Mock Trial is a team effort and all of them worked hard and did well masha Allah.
This has been a great year for forensics with all 3 teams receiving so many accolades! I hope in sha Allah the administration and board take the time to congratulate the Mock Trial members and recognize the academic value of these competitions. WYSE, ICTM and IJAS are wonderful competitions with much real life value masha Allah but the same must be said for Mock Trial, Speech and Debate.
Our kids need to know they have the support of those in charge and in sha Allah this is something we can work on for future years. Alhamdullilah having Ms Samah at all of these competitions really motivated our kids.