Westerville’s Middle School Mock Trial team was photographed outside of City Council chambers, where they practiced before the competition.
The 2016-17 8th grade Mock Trial teams from each of the four Westerville Middle Schools participated in the State Showcase on Friday, March 24, at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center in Downtown Columbus. Each school competed in two trials, one with their defense team and the second with their prosecuting team.
Blendon’s prosecution team, led by co-counselors Lilia Garcia and Camryn Ford and witnesses Ella Dickerson, Cierra Clark, and Layla Goebeler, competed against Harding Middle School. The defense team, led by co-counselors Gracie Pillow and Ethyn Allen and witnesses Nathaniel Whittaker (who won Outstanding Witness), Lili Hahn, and Cassie Riechert, were pitted against Walnut Hills Middle School. Student advisors who helped prep and build the court cases included Ben Anglin, Elise Aultman, Hannah Blackwell, Joe Martin, Max Chambers, Finn Tan, Seth Derstine, Addy Moore, Landon Bailey, and Collin Cook. The Blendon team received a top rating of Superior for their performance.
Genoa’s prosecuting team co-counselors Becca Borton and Hannah Lyons and witnesses Giana Fasone (Outstanding Witness), Liam Holub, and Daniel Dixon went up against the Walnut Hills Gold Team from Walnut Hills, Ohio. The defense team consisted of co-counselors Emily Rothwell and Kyleigh Hope and witnesses Jennifer Baldwin, Ashley Hockstock (Outstanding Witness), and Aishwarya Ilangovan who competed against the Chagrin Falls Black team of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Emma Funderburg was the timekeeper, and Elizabeth O’Connell served as bailiff.
Heritage’s prosecuting team consisted of co-counselors Donovan Hunt and Hayden Yeager, along with witnesses Eve Malick, Olivia Evans, and Sophia Shai. They locked horns with Menlo Park Academy’s Edison Team. The defense team consisted of co-counselors Zsofia Kacsandi (who won an Outstanding Attorney award) and Alia O’Brien, with witnesses Emma Weisgerber, Gabe Ohle, and Ian Evans, who competed against Chagrin Falls Orange team.
Co-counselors Malcolm Malcolm and Muna Ali (Outstanding Lawyer) and witnesses Gideon Jensen, Janis Murano and Lilian Kennon, who went up against Harding Middle School Team 7, led the Walnut Springs prosecution team. The defense team of co-counselors Brendan Smucker and Natalie Shah and witnesses Chloe Sampson, Andilyn McCallum (Outstanding Witness) and Angela Hurt, battled the Menlo Park Middle School Team Tesla.
This is the fourth time each middle school has competed and the fifth year Westerville middle schools have participated. The students worked on this extra-curricular program for five months and were led by advanced social studies teachers Tristen Henry (Blendon), Drew Farrell (Genoa), Patrick Acocks (Heritage), and Liz Stokes (Walnut Springs) with support from the administration, the Gifted Education Department and staff, and the Social Studies Department.
For more information on the Middle School Mock Trial sponsored by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education, visit http://www.oclre.org/aws/OCLRE/pt/sp/programs_mocktrial.