Teacher & Mock Trial Coach
Jeremy Samoy

Miscellaneous Information

Miscellaneous Information

Tanque Verde High School

For Jeremy, teaching is more than just his profession, it truly is his passion. He received his BA in Secondary Education with a major in Social Studies from the University of Arizona, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2009. Jeremy started his teaching career as a long-term sub at Santa Rita HS in 2010. The following year Jeremy and his wife moved to Phoenix where he worked at the Girls Leadership Academy of Arizona from 2011-2014. He was hired as part of a turnaround model to rebuild a consistently failing school. Jeremy was the only social studies teacher there, so he developed the curriculum for all the classes, and got to teach every social studies class. By the time he left it was a B rated college prep school. Jeremy also started a Mock Trial program here and competed for two years at the regional competition. Upon returning to Tucson in 2014, he taught 7th and 8th grade at Copper Point Schools, an Expeditionary Learning school focused on community projects. From there he found his home for the past 6 years, when he joined an incredible learning community of staff and students at Tanque Verde High School where I currently teach US & AP US History, and Mock Trial. I currently co-sponsor the World Culture Club, help organize overseas trips for students to help expand their world views, act as the Student Council Junior Class sponsor, and support the NHS and their participation in the Honor Flights program. Jeremy also partnered with the Optimist Club to host an Oratorical Contest.

The Mock Trial Program at Tanque Verde High School has grown into a consistently competitive program. They have had teams qualify for the state tournament 5 years in a row, and the past 3 years they have sent 2 teams to the state tournament. In 2020 his top teams won 1st place in Region 6A and 6B. As part of his outreach program to mentor new Mock Trial teams they have helped start programs at Desert Christian, Empire High School, and Marana Mountain View. They host a preseason Mock Trial tournament at our school called the Mock Hawk, for novice teams to sharpen their skills and learn the process before competing at the regional tournament in March. Jeremy personally participated in Mock Trial as both a student and now a teacher, he knows firsthand how incredible this program can be for young people to help them gain confidence, hone their critical thinking skills, develop public speaking skills, and learn how to work together with a team. This is why he’s so excited to share this amazing program. As a fun fact, Jeremy was a member of the Sahuaro Mock Trial Program from 2001-2005, they won the state tournament 3 years in a row while I was in high school.

Jeremy received the You Make a Difference Award from the Arizona Foundation for Legal Education for work promoting Mock Trial to new schools and hosting a preseason tournament for recruiting more teams in the Tucson Region. He was nominated and selected for the John J. Ross Memorial Award for Excellence in Law Related Education 2020, Jeremy was a finalist in the top 9 for the Arizona Online Amazing Teacher of the Year Award 2020 presented by the University of Arizona and was selected to be the Daughters of the American Revolution Arizona History Teacher of the Year 2021.

The basis of his teaching practices is engagement. Jeremy wants students to see history not as something set in stone, but something to question, research, and evaluate. They rely sparingly on the textbook, and instead try to supplement with engaging activities and evaluation of primary sources. Students are provided with a wide range of sources, which forces them to analyze and reflect on the point of view, purpose, and intended audience. Jeremy tries to design activities that help students feel what it would be like to exist in that time period. To Jeremy, history is about analyzing decisions from the past in order to reflect for the present and the future. On a regular basis they take historical dilemmas and debate/discuss the justification for these actions, which allows students to formulate opinions and support their positions with evidence. They practice Socratic Seminars in class where students run the discussion, referencing the text to guide their inquiry. They discuss a wide range of topics, and these activities help refine students’ critical thinking skills. Jeremy is always invigorated by the genuine interest students have in our discussions. Jeremy tries to incorporate projects to foster group dynamics as well as provide a creative outlet for students to experience the content.