Ames Middle School’s mock trial Team Black won first place in the regional competition held Oct. 28 in Marshalltown, and advanced to the state competition held Nov. 14-16 to take third place. This is the first time both Ames Middle School Mock Trial teams—Black Team and Orange Team—advanced to the State Competition and the first time in 23 years since an Ames Middle School team made it to the Final Rounds representing the top four teams in the state.
Mock Trial Team Orange took second place at the regional competition.
Mock Trial is designed to introduce sixth, seventh and eighth graders to the courtroom and legal system, and enhance their public speaking and critical thinking skills. Ames Middle School mock trial teams, led by teacher Shannon Fitchko, have worked hard since the beginning of the school year, preparing questions and memorizing courtroom procedures.
“This year was extra special because our teams were led by Peggy Michelotti, a practicing attorney who gave these children no less than a college law course, donating her free time to our kids,” Fitchko said.
In this year’s scenario, a wrongful death case, each student had at least one roles in the case, either on the side of the defense or of the plaintiff or both. During the competitions, school teams from different cities were paired against each other in separate courtrooms. The teams were then judged on their memorization, their acting ability, their teamwork, and other criteria.
Daniel Lee, an eighth grader and third time Attorney, said during the state competition, “The tension as we entered the courtroom was substantial, but the excitement when the trial started was even greater. Ultimately, the Semi-Final round was a mesmerizing experience.”
Mock Trial Team results at 2016 Regional Competition
Black Team – First Place: Daniel Lee, Malik Davis, Erin Yoon, Annabella Marquez, Emma Dorhout, Mariam Mkhitaryan, Sophia Cordoba, Suya Que, Matthew Jacobson-Fisher, Leslie Kim.
Orange Team – Second Place: Mia O’Connor-Walker, Alicia Nicolas, Amy Zhang, Elizabeth Burras, David Lee, Yujie Chen, Michael Huang, Adrian Guan, Peter Marshall-Gilbert, Elaina Johnson, Angelina Chen, Daniel Yakobson.
Mock Trial results at 2016 State Competition
Black Team- Third place finish at State Mock Trial – Daniel Lee, Malik Davis, Erin Yoon, Annabella Marquez, Emma Dorhout, Mariam Mkhitaryan, Sophia Cordoba, Suya Que, Matthew Jacobson-Fisher.