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Nail-Biting Courtroom Drama! MISD Middle Schools Claim Top 3 Spots in Collin County Mock Trial Competition

Press Release|
Shane Mauldin|
Thursday, May 11, 2017

McKinney, Texas – From “Law & Order” to “12 Angry Men” to “A Few Good Men,” just about everybody loves a good courtroom drama.

For the 8th graders involved in the Collin County Bar Association (CCBA) Mock Trial contest, the courtroom drama may have been simulated, but the competition was very real. Each team member had a role to play; some served as witnesses and some as attorneys, but all of them were…well, judged…by actual attorneys and judges—and the goal, as in any courtroom, was to win.

That’s exactly what three McKinney ISD middle school teams did in the competition held April 28-29 at the Collin County Courthouse. Teams from Evans Middle School, Cockrill Middle School and Dowell Middle School took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, from among a field of 28 teams.

“The students are scored on how effectively they perform—the question and answer exchange by the lawyers and witnesses and the lawyers’ quick thinking,” said Dowell 8th grade ELAR teacher Lisa Noland. “The teams have three rounds playing both defense and prosecution, and at the end of Day 1, only four teams out of 28 advance to Day 2.”

Preparation is essential. Although each team received the same case briefing six weeks prior to the competition, getting ready for Mock Trial began as early as August.

“All the teams work very hard preparing for the case,” said Evans 8th grade ELAR teacher Patricia Beckham. “The students on our team were dedicated to learning their parts, taking on the roles of attorneys and getting prepared. The attorneys had to write their own directs, crosses, openings and closings.”

There was expert mentorship available to guide students through those components; each team had a sponsor and an attorney coach, but it was the kids who had to do the work and then walk into the courtroom and make it happen on trial day.

“It is nail bitingly stressful, and the kids love it,” said Noland.

The process offers great benefits for the students. “The Mock Trial competition has been going on for at least 20 years,” said Beckham. “The purpose is to expose students to a jury trial, higher level thinking skills and basic knowledge of how the law works. We had a wonderful time and I am so proud of their hard work.”

Group photo of Evans Winning Mock Trial Team

The 1st Place 2017 CCBA Mock Trial Team from Evans Middle School (Courtesy of EMS)

The 1st Place Evans Middle School Mock Trial Team:
Nicolas Wooters—Best Attorney Award
Anna Bose—3 Best Attorney Awards
Declan French—Best Witness Award
Luke Chumley
Molly Parker
Michael Nori—3 Best Witness Awards
Kayla Nguyen—Best Witness Award
Nicole Holden
Annabel Kilroy

Group photo of the 2017 CCBA Mock Trial team from Cockrill Middle School

The 2nd Place 2017 CCBA Mock Trial Team from Cockrill Middle School (Courtesy of CMS)

The 2nd Place Cockrill Middle Mock Trial Team:
Cian Collins
Cate Fawaz
Daniel White
Duncan Harper
Wyatt Bullock
Jackson Dreffs
Keelin Gaughan
Kinley Hussong
Jack Burton

Group Photo of the 2017 CCBA Mock Trial Team from Dowell Middle School

The 3rd Place 2017 CCBA Mock Trial Team from Dowell Middle School (Courtesy of DMS)

The 3rd Place Dowell Middle School Team:
Kieran Givens
Rylee Jones
Katherine Tschirhart
Aiden Stickney
Olivia Sherman
Amy Gilmore
Chiola Oladele
Jordyn Nevelle
Reiley McCormick-Keck
Dean Plummer
Collin Drake
Ryan McCrory

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If you need additional assistance with the content on this page, please contact MISD Communications Department team member Shane Mauldin by phone at 469-302-4007 or by email here .

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