Perkins County High Schooler Wins State News Writing Contest

Perkins County High Schooler Wins State News Writing Contest

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Following two hours of writing and an hour of observing student attorneys argue their case, Perkins County High School student Dayami Ruiz won top honors in the Nebraska High School Mock Trial 2022 News Reporting Competition.  Ruiz spent the morning of December 5, 2022, listening to her school’s team argue the first round of the Nebraska Mock Trial championship at the Federal Courthouse in Omaha, NE.  Before the day ended, United States Magistrate Judge Susan Bazis announced Ruiz as the first-place winner of the news writing competition.

Her news story was evaluated by journalism professionals from Omaha, Lincoln, and Lexington, who noted that she would make an excellent news reporter should she choose a career in journalism after high school. Ruiz was repeatedly commended for her organizational skills, strong use of quotations, and clear understanding of the story’s most important elements. Earlier in the month, she participated in the optional regional competition where a university journalism professor evaluated her writing in preparation for the state championship.

In presenting the news reporter competition awards, Bazis noted, “The Student News Reporter Contest enables each participating school to add one more member to its team and to recognize an important strength of our judicial process: accurate and thorough news reporting by the media.”

The competition is held in connection with the Nebraska State Bar Foundation’s annual December Nebraska High School Mock Trial state championship.

The 2022 mock trial case centered on a caregiver’s obligation to pay her former employer for the alleged theft of household items. The fictitious lawsuit formed the basis of the news story written by Ruiz. 

Ruiz was coached by retired Perkins County school teachers Diana Tate and Don Harris, who also coach the Perkins High School Mock Trial team.

Noting the importance of news reporting in today’s society, Nebraska State Bar Foundation Executive Director and Mock Trial sponsor congratulated all our student reporters, saying, “Good writing skills are very much needed not only in journalism and law but in every career field today.”

Photo: Perkins County retired school teachers Diana Tate (L) and Don Harris (R) with mock trial student news reporter contest winner, Dayami Ruiz, center.