WCSD middle school students participate in Mock Trial competition

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The 2022 eighth-grade Mock Trial teams from Heritage, Genoa, and Walnut Springs middle schools participated in the state showcases on April 29 and May 20 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. 

Genoa's prosecution team included co-counselors Corinne Miller and Julianna Trudden and witnesses Sophia Jaynes, Lauren Ngo and Jordan Zhu. The defense team consisted of co-counselors Abby Beadle and Sharon Gbadebo and witnesses Priyanka Bellala, Paris Bray-Hamilton and Emily Ward. Harper Polsinelli served as the bailiff/timekeeper while Evan Burnette provided team support, serving as an alternate. Gbadebo won the Outstanding Attorney award and Bray-Hamilton won the Outstanding Witness award.

Heritage’s prosecuting team consisted of co-counselors Felix Cox and Jack Nickoli and witnesses Addie Gurgiolo, Abby McFeely and Grace Rodstrom. Also on the prosecuting team: Sofie Loftin and Yanna Serenko. The defense team consisted of co-counselors Elise Hamlin and David Weaver and witnesses Rodav Kalengayi, Zamir Parrish and Jenna Rusnak. Also on the defense team: Sarah Mobarek and Koia Bintshahiydullah Bin. Hamlin won the Outstanding Attorney award and Kalengayi won the Outstanding Witness award.

Walnut Springs’ prosecution team featured co-counselors Imani Akita and Kacee Bohan and witnesses Avery Halterman, Jeannette Moriak and Anna Leslein. The defense team were led by co-counselors Emery Sullivan and Persia Berko and witnesses Henry McClure, Owen Lafon/Trent Carson and Crystal Montoya. Caeden Mills was bailiff and timekeeper and Carter Randall, Maddie Develvis and Avamarie Hedrick assisted the witnesses and attorney's in creating each team's cases and questions. Bohan and Berko won the Outstanding Attorney awards and Leslein won the Outstanding Witness award. Overall, Walnut Springs won one of the cases and tied in the other.

The students’ advanced eighth-grade social studies teachers — Genoa’s Leslie Thompson, Heritage’s Patrick Acocks, and Walnut Springs’ Liz Stokes — led the middle school extra-curricular program with building support as well as support from the Gifted Education Department and the Social Studies Department. This marks the eighth year WCSD middle schools have participated in Mock Trial. 

More information on the Middle School Mock Trial sponsored by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education is available here.