Wayne Strumpfer, parent of junior Gracie, will assume the coaching position previously held by Jeanine Boyers.
Boyers, mother of two lower-school students and a middle schooler, resigned when she decided to homeschool her fifth-grade daughter Abigail.
Abigail competed in Acrobatic Gymnastics at the USA Gymnastics National Championships this summer, and was chosen as an alternate for the National Developmental Team.
Since Abigail’s practice and travel schedule made Country Day impractical for her fifth-grade year, it also made Mock Trial impossible for Boyers.
Although leading the team is a new position for Strumpfer, he is no stranger to the students. For five years, Strumpfer had occasionally helped Boyers instruct the team, Strumpfer said.
Strumpfer judged scrimmage trials for the team and advised the students on their performances after the trial.
“(Strumpfer) always gave excellent feedback and suggestions,” Boyers said.
He also helped develop the team’s pre-trial arguments.
Junior Emma Brown, who has participated in Mock Trial for two years, said Strumpfer’s advice was helpful.
“He told us to relax and try to improvise more, as opposed to reading straight from our notes,” Brown said. “It was good to get insight from another person who has worked with the law and Mock Trial.”
Strumpfer said that when he assisted Boyers, he observed that she “was a great coach and always seemed to get the most out of the students in the program.”
Senior George Cvetich, who has worked with Boyers for the past three years, agreed with Strumpfer.
“I am upset that (Boyers) left because we had an excellent relationship, and I really enjoyed my time with her,” Cvvetich said.
Before Strumpfer was offered the job, headmaster Stephen Repsher was aware that Strumpfer had taught the class for the Academic Talent Search program at CSUS and was a former prosecutor, Strumpfer said.
Strumpfer said he plans to have guest instructors and speakers visit the classes.
“I have friends who are judges and experienced criminal lawyers who have judged Mock Trial competitions,” Strumpfer said. “I think hearing different perspectives from professionals will be good for the students.”