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home : news : city news June 29, 2017

4/20/2017 7:27:00 AM
She rests her case: RHS mock trial coach retires after more than three decades
By river news Staff

Kathy Vick-Martini, retired Rhinelander High School teacher and the school's mock trial coach for more than three decades, has announced her retirement effective with the end of the 2016-17 mock trial season.

During her coaching career, Rhinelander High School teams have earned 31 consecutive regional championships, more than any other school in the state, with 17 state championships, six second-place state finishes, one national championship in 1989, and one second-place national finish.

RHS teams also placed in the Top 10 in the nation 10 times during Vick-Martini's career. To date, RHS is the only Wisconsin high school to have won a national title.

The success of the RHS mock trial program is well-known throughout the state and beyond and the school district expressed its appreciation for Vick-Martini's steadfast leadership over more than 30 years.

"Throughout her years of coaching, Kathy has been the recipient of several awards," according to a district statement. "They include the Law Related Education Teacher of the Year Award, Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Kohl Fellowship Award, National High School Mock Trial Championship Board Golden Gavel Award, State Bar of Wisconsin Volunteer of the Year Award, and the Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellow Award. Along with her personal awards, Kathy has had the gratifying opportunity to observe firsthand student improvement in leadership, public speaking, problem-solving, teamwork, and time management skills, and has witnessed how participation in the mock trial program greatly improved personal self-confidence; all life skills that enhance future employability in any career that may be chosen. Kathy has conveyed her sincere gratitude for the outstanding support she, her assistant coaches, volunteer coaches, and the students have received throughout the years. The success of the mock trial program would not have been possible without the dedicated services of area professionals and the financial support of community businesses, private citizens, and RHS alumni. The School District of Rhinelander wishes Kathy all the best as she retires from a long and successful coaching career."

In a statement, Vick-Martini attributed the team's tremendous record of success to the many students who participated in mock trial, their families and the local legal community.

"The RHS Mock Trial record, compiled over the past three decades, is a tribute to the dedication of hundreds of students and their families and the active support of our legal community and school district," she said.

"People often ask me, 'How did you do it? How did you win all those championships?'" she added. "The answer is, 'I' didn't do it. It started with a team of students who were willing to work harder at this than anything they had done in their lives. Added to it was the commitment of judges and attorneys who provided free legal counsel to our student attorneys, local professionals from every walk of life who shared their expertise with our student witnesses, and a phenomenal play director at Nicolet College who made it all sound believable."

A celebration of Vick-Martini's coaching career is planned for sometime this summer, the release states. More information will follow. Meanwhile, the district will soon begin a search for a new mock trial coach, the release states.

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