The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

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The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

The student news site of Coral Gables Senior High School

CavsConnect

Mr. Garcia Influences the Cavaliers Pride

Mr.+Garcia+proudly+smiles+while+handing+out+his+academy+shirts+to+his+students.
Selena Feal
Mr. Garcia proudly smiles while handing out his academy shirts to his students.

In the white and red hallways of Coral Gables Senior High, one teacher stands out, filled with knowledge and teaching experience from over three decades, Mr. Garcia. From teaching the intricacies of government and economics to now managing his very own mock courtroom, his impacts as a law teacher have created a class where law isn’t just taught; it’s lived, argued and passionately pursued.

His classroom dynamic mirrors the one of a real courtroom, as he teaches different types of law each year, ranging from criminal to civil law. Throughout the academic year, Mr. Garcia’s students engage in mini-mock trials, preparing cases over nine weeks and presenting them like real court proceedings. The progress becomes evident, with freshmen working on one-page cases and seniors having complex 50-page cases.

After competing in districts the mock trial team of 2022-23 proudly poses for a picture. (Selena Feal)

”I enjoy teaching law because, for most of the part, the material I give to the students is information that is new to them.  It isn’t just the material. It is teaching students how to communicate, to take what they are thinking and being able to teach them how to properly articulate it, which also involves public speaking and listening skills,” Mr. Garcia said

Surpassing 28 years, he has ever since given his all to his team practicing various times every week with intense preparations leading to competitions in February. His teams over the years have gone to states various times and have placed eighth in nationals before. Presenting himself as the face of law expenditure, Mr. Garcia was also named National Street Law Teacher of the Year” by Street Law in 2017.

“Being Co-Captain of the team has honestly shown me how dedicated Mr. Garcia truly is to our team. Just alone with our bi-weekly practices, we learn so much about law and critical thinking. Most of this learning is due to Mr. Garcia’s dedication to teaching us all the intricacies of the law. We are truly grateful to have such a great coach,” senior Dianie Gomez said.

Partnering with Bilzin Sumberg since 2010 after affiliating with Street Law and the University of Miami previously, Mr. Garcia has also worked tirelessly to provide students with valuable experiences, offering a glimpse into the real-world complexities of the legal profession. Bringing his students on an annual field trip to Bilzin Sumberg, the team experiences a day in the life of an attorney in a mini internship. Additionally every couple of weeks, judges and attorneys from Bilzin come to Gables, speaking with students about their careers and giving scenarios on “What would you do?”.

”Partnering with Bilzin Sumberg has been a really good experience for the students, because they get to go to the law firm and see what it’s like to pursue a career in this field. They also get lessons from not only law students but also attorneys from the law firm. I think it’s a very valuable experience, because they can see what it’s like to be an attorney and get that hands-on experience,” Mr. Garcia said.

He also runs the Health Science Public Law academy after Gables had transferred from a traditional high school to an academy-based school in 2008. Mr. Garcia at that time became the small learning communities coordinator, having to help the foundation of all six academies and a couple of years later he took on HSPL as the leader of the academy, contributing to the overall growth of the school and the success of the academy.

Mr. Garcia’s impact has extended far beyond the classroom, with several of his former students pursuing career in law.  He has made Gables a great place filled with knowledge in every corner of each hall, Shaping young minds and guiding them towards meaningful contributions all over the world.  After 31 years of teaching, Mr. Garcia has been a profound influence in education and the Gables family truly appreciates him and will support him for years to come.

About the Contributor
Selena Feal, CavsConnect Staff Writer

Meet Selena Feal: a spirited sophomore navigating her way through the Health Science, Public and Law academy. Going into her second year in CavsConnect, Selena's vibrant energy extends beyond her academic pursuits, as she not only thrives as a dedicated member of the Mock Trial team, skillfully honing her argumentative finesse, but also actively engages in three other clubs: Andrea Jaime Medical Leaders, Gables Wellness and Interact. Beyond the riveting realm of courtroom drama, Selena finds her rhythm in exploring different corners of the world, having embarked on various adventures across three continents in less than a year. Whether she's savoring delicious Açaí bowls at Ernie's or binge-watching "Suits" on Netflix, Selena's passion for exploration knows no bounds. As she refines her legal prowess, she's also curating a collection of suits that would make Harvey Specter proud. So, while Selena's academic journey takes on a distinctive and captivating flavor, her drive is undeniable, weaving a narrative that's all her own.

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