Eileen DeBruno Mock Trial Courtroom
Dear La Reina Community,
From freshman year of high school to third year of law school, mock trial has been a constant in my life. The activity made me a better speaker and thinker, and it connected me with peers across the country. Without question, mock trial has dramatically shaped who I am today.
We now have an opportunity to give back to this amazing program and honor the woman who initiated it all - Mrs. Eileen DeBruno.
For decades, La Reina High School & Middle School has been a leader in the mock trial community, with a proud tradition of success. Every year, the school graduates young women who, as a result of their participation in this tremendous program, go on to attend top-ranked colleges and graduate schools with the goal of serving their communities no matter their chosen profession.
Part of what makes the La Reina Mock Trial program so successful are the many teachers and coaches who volunteer their time to help these young women develop trial skills and motivate them to excel in a field so often dominated by men. Of all the coaches who dedicated hours of their time to this activity, one stands out from the rest: Mrs. Eileen DeBruno.
Mrs. DeBruno, known by many as the La Reina librarian, was the first La Reina Mock Trial coach and the woman whose hard work helped shape the program into the powerhouse it is today. On weekends, Mrs. DeBruno arrived early to the La Reina library to open it for the mock trial team, hauling water bottles, bagels, fruit, and juice to sustain the girls throughout the three-hour practices. During my first three years at La Reina, Mrs. DeBruno never missed a practice and never missed a tournament.
When La Reina High School made history in 2008, as the first all girls school to advance to the National Competition in Delaware, Mrs. DeBruno, then retired, phoned the girls daily to support and encourage them. She did so not only because she was a loving and caring woman, but because she recognized the impact mock trial can have on a young girl's future.
Today La Reina continues to recognize that impact. It is my pleasure to tell you about a new project La Reina has been working on-one that is unprecedented for Ventura County high schools.
La Reina is currently creating a dedicated mock trial practice room for practices and scrimmages. Complete with custom furniture and a distinctive design, this renovation will offer current La Reina students a unique opportunity to practice in a classroom that is perfectly suited to honing mock trial skills.
Unsurprisingly, the family of Eileen DeBruno has taken the lead in making this dedicated space a reality. Now they are asking students to join them to complete the project and dedicate the room to Eileen's memory.
Our goal is to raise $25,000 or more to help the DeBruno Family complete the room.
Please consider joining me today by clicking here.Mock trial gave me the skills I needed to think on my feet and to think critically. Importantly, La Reina Mock Trial gave me the confidence that I can achieve anything, no matter who my opponents are. I support this program because I believe in it, and I hope you will too.
Amanda Mundell, '08
Harvard Law School, J.D. Candidate '17