Students from Blendon compete at the Middle School Mock Trial Competition at the Ohio Judicial Center, Downtown Columbus.
The 2017-2018 8th grade Mock Trial teams from each of the four Westerville Middle Schools participated in the State Showcase on Friday, April 6, 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 Megan Hamlin and Devon Ford, and witnesses Tiwonge Thewu, Jessica Adongo, and Hannah Dunbar, competed against Heath Middle School. The defense team, led by co-counselors Alleah Ebbinghaus and Tyler Zwick, and witnesses William Serozynski, Elizabeth Potterf, and Julia deNijs, were up against Genoa Middle School. Student advisors who helped prep and build the court cases included Stephen Beach, Elise Bennett, Miah Bey, Abigail Davis, Anna Deichert, Monica Foster, Harper Fuller, Abby Gaylord, Trishna Ghimirey, Dhruvi Kalyan, Zachary Knight, Erin Mayle, Albany McDowell, Abdi Mohamud (bailiff/time keeper), Trebor Self, Trisha Slawson, Staci Tomblin, and Emily Widman. The Blendon team received a top rating of Superior for their performance and Alleah Ebbinghaus received the Outstanding Attorney Award.
Genoa took two teams to the Middle School Mock Trial Showcase. Genoa’s A Team prosecutors included co-counselors Lilli Malone and Austin Barnhart and witnesses D.J. Bardwell, Max Hall, and Laiken Hendricks. They went up against Hastings Middle School from Upper Arlington, Ohio. The defense team consisted of co-counselors Katie Pullins and Heath Benton and witnesses Jason Boller, Josh Richards, and Alyssa Boyd. They were pitted against Trellis Academy Home School Group from Knox County, Ohio. Abby Henck was the timekeeper, and Caitlyn Campagna served as the bailiff. Based upon the average score of the judges, Genoa's Team A earned the highest ranking of Superior.
Genoa’s B Team prosecutors included co-counselors Max Rojanasakdakul and Bridget Yu and witnesses Amelia Wares, Kira Shepherd, and Nathan Seabury - who won Outstanding Witness in the case. They went up against Westerville’s Blendon Middle School. The defense team consisted of co-counselors Mikayla Moses and Adalyn VanHorn and witnesses Katelyn Magnacca, Jackson Congrove, and Sarah Herald. They went up against Zane Trace Middle School of Chillicothe, Ohio. Meghan McConnell served as bailiff and timekeeper. Based upon the average score of the judges, Genoa's Team B earned the second highest ranking of Outstanding.
Heritage Middle School’s prosecuting team consisted of co-counselors Kimberlee Welch and Tiara Takyi, and witnesses Elle Rollyson, Diana Atieh, and Bonnie Wu. They performed against the Wheelersbug Team. The defense team, consisting of co-counselors Madison Yanichko and Natalie Kloos, and witnesses Will Pyle, Maya Pryfogle, and Zuhur Sofe went up against the Wheelersburg team. Natalie Kloos and Tiara Takyi each won outstanding attorney in their respective trials.
The Walnut Springs prosecution team, led by co-counselors Sophie Bordron and Ansley Endres and witnesses Nhi Ton, Lilly Hammer and Tyler Ottersbach (who won Outstanding Witness Award in the case), competed against Jackson Memorial. Walnut’s defense team was led by co-counselors Madelynn Beck (who won Outstanding Attorney Award in the case) and Joey Endres, along with witnesses Xiaowen Li, Anna Whiting and Anna Cochrane (who won Outstanding Witness in the case). They argued against Trellis Academy Team Gold. Elisa Thompson was timer and Abby Cumming-Vukovic served as bailiff. Katie Boyd, Elena Parks and Carter McCrea assisted the attorney’s and witnesses in creating each team’s case and questions. Overall, Walnut Springs received the highest ranking of Superior at the showcase.
This is the fifth time each middle school has competed and the sixth 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), Leslie Thompson (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, please visit http://www.oclre.org/aws/OCLRE/pt/sp/programs_mocktrial.