Harding Middle School’s Mock Trial team earned the second-highest rating of “Excellent” in Middle School Mock Trial State Showcase held April 26 & 27 at the Ohio State Judicial Center in Columbus. Eighth-grader Veronica Gordon also won a “Best Witness” award in the competition, which drew 30 schools from across Ohio. Only four schools earned the top rating of “Superior.”
The competition, sponsored by the Ohio Center for Law Related Education, is designed to immerse the students in the American judicial process. This year’s competition was centered on a trial based on the fiction novel “The Lord of the Flies,” by William Golding.
In the competition, team members must fill the roles of attorneys and witnesses and serve as the prosecuting team in one trial and then as the defense team in another. Harding’s prosecution team of attorneys Katie O’Donnell and Emily Brown and witnesses Amanda Cabot, Veronica Gordon and Kelly White won its trial. The defense team members were attorneys Claire Black and Alex Grunder and witnesses Adnan Abdic, Gabe Dooley and Kayla Pierce.
The Mock Trial teams spent four months preparing for their cases under the guidance of club adviser Ruth Pangrace. Pangrace was assisted by Lakewood attorney Pete Kwiatkowski and Harding social studies teacher Mary Kay Ryan.