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Mock Trial legend says 'goodbye' after 20 years

Mock Trial Assistant Director Aaron Johnson will take over as Mock Trial director

By Rose Hoonan
On April 20, 2012

Although he may not be the judge, Mock Trial Director and Political Science Professor Steven Taylor declares his time at UP "adjourned" as he is retiring after 20 years.

"My time here has been wonderful," Steven said. "This is my primary way of giving back to UP, and I appreciate all of the support I've received from the community."

Although he is retiring from his duties at UP, Steven plans to continue teaching.

"I'm not retiring in the formal sense," he said. "I'm going to teach more classes at Portland Community College."

The time Steven invested into the program is evident, and he has met friends and collected fond memories at UP.

"The lifelong friendships are something I'll never forget," Steven said. "I've become friends with so many people I wouldn't have met otherwise."

Senior and Mock Trial President Kathya Acuña sees the success of the team as a product of Taylor's coaching.

"He is really good at pushing our critical thinking skills," Acuña said. "We've progressively gotten better - this year going to nationals, winning more awards than ever."

In addition to Steven's knowledge of Mock Trial are his coaching skills.

"Steven is a very 'mother hen' type coach," Acuña said. "He's always concerned with the well-being of every single person."

UP alumnus and Mock Trial Assistant Director Aaron Johnson, who will take over Steven's duties as Mock Trial director, appreciates his coaching as well.

"When I went to UP for my undergrad, Steven coached me," Johnson said. "One of the biggest lessons he taught me was how to maintain integrity and play fair."

Steven sees Johnson's appointment to Mock Trial director as a good choice.

"There is no better sign that an alumni is coming back to coach," Steven said. "He may not have as much gray hair as me, but I am sure he will do a great job."

With the new executive board and director in order, Mock Trial sees a bright future for the 2012-2013 school year.

"My hope is that we'll get to nationals," junior Charity Taylor, who has no relation to Steven, said. Charity will assume Acuña's position as president for the 2012-2013 school year. "But it's not really a hope because I know it's going to happen."

Johnson agrees.

"We are going to all the way to the top," Johnson said. "I want that big giant trophy."

And even though Steven has resigned as Mock Trial director, Acuña predicts he will stay connected with Mock Trial at UP.

"I don't think he'll go away forever," Acuña said. "It's his life."

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