Middle Schools Earn Top Ratings At State Mock Trial
Over two Fridays in late March, the Garfield and Harding Middle Schools’ mock trial teams traveled to Columbus to compete in the statewide Middle School Mock Trial State Showcase sponsored by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education. The group of 7th and 8th graders came away with high ratings and awards for Best Lawyer and Best Witness.
The competition centers around trials based on a work of fiction. This year’s book was Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes. The legal teams prepared for a trial on the guilt or innocence of the main character in regards to committing treason. More than 450 students from 42 schools participated in the competition.
After reading the book and studying the accompanying packet from the Ohio Center for Law Related Education, the students formed teams taking on the roles of lawyers or witnesses. Harding had defense and prosecution teams for both 7th and 8th graders. Garfield brought a 7th grade defense and prosecution team to Columbus. Each team consists of two lawyers and four witnesses and conducts their trial against another Ohio middle school.
Attorneys and judges served as competition judges, giving students points for professional demeanor, oratory skills and an understanding of trial technique and courtroom procedure.
Harding students competed for a spot on the Mock Trial team through a playoff system, wherein lawyers and judges from Lakewood and nearby communities offered their time and experience to assign points in categories as the teams argued out the case in a mock Mock Trial. When the points were tallied up, the highest scores were offered a spot on the roster, and preparations began again.
The results for both middle school teams were impressive. Garfield’s 7th grade team and Harding’s 8th grade team each earned the highest Superior rating and Harding’s 7th grade team earned an Outstanding rating.
Individual awards include the following:
Harding 8th grade: Best Lawyer, Mira Getrost and Annika Cooke; Best Witness, Eden Sutliff and Willow Rosser
7th grade: Best Lawyer, Izzy Fallon (Harding); Best Witness, Teeghan McGann (Garfield) and Joey Daso (Harding).
Congratulations to all the students and their advisers!
Garfield participants: Collin Hunt, Alexandria Russell, Lindsay Gregg, Erin Ptacek, Declan Markling, Caleigh Naylon, Emma-Claire Lambert-Shemo, Eva Strazek, Sydney Hudock, Teeghan McGann, Emma Murray, Molly Burke, Amelia Moore, and Maggie Dineen. Adviser: Dan Smith
Harding participants: 8th grade: Mira Getrost, Nola Williams-Riseng, Gabrielle Toms, Eden Sutliff, Charlotte Milenski, Anastasia Seckers, Annika Cook, Catherine Joyce, Sofia Bianco, Willow Rosser, Holly Eubanks, Jacob Kavc, Sophie Lipka, and Emily Kompier. 7th grade participants: Isabella Fallon, Mia Condosta, Sophia Weiss, Anna Weiss, Julia Kavc, Amanda Chanter, Ellie Humphreys, Madeline Jensen, Amal Elhachdani, Leila Abderrazzaq, Joseph Daso, Julia Shields, and Lucy McIntire. Adviser: Sonja Kreps.