Students from Springfield High School recently made history for the school by taking second at a statewide competition.
The students took part in the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education’s High School Mock Trial State Championship on March 10 at the Ohio Senate Building in Columbus. It was the first time students from the school appeared in the state finals.
Students involved in the competition argue fictitious trials in front of a panel of judges comprised of law professionals from around the state. More than 3,000 students participated in the program sponsored by the OCLRE in 2018. Springfield High School had three teams in this year’s circuit. The other two made it to the district-level competitions.
Junior Emily Hasecke, who won an award for her performance as a witness at the competition, said the team’s journey to the finals was a roller coaster, but they were happy to have made it so far.
“We’ve had a lot of wonky things happen,” she said. “But the fact we made it this far is amazing.”
The state team students went up against Sylvania Southview High School in the finals. The case revolved around a defendant seeking a re-trial due to ineffective assistance of council. The Springfield team argued for the prosecution and ultimately took second place in the competition.
Scott Hambrick, faculty adviser for the team, said the program is designed for students to develop skills they can use in any career they might go into in the future.
“Certainly our goal is to help them develop skills in critical thinking and public speaking and the art of persuasion,” he said.
Junior Jacob Kearns, who played the role of a detective for the team, said being part of the mock trial program has made him consider a career in criminal justice. The program has mostly helped his confidence when speaking with people, he said.
“Speaking in mock trial has helped me tremendously,” he said. “Being able to do public speaking is very valuable, which is part of the reason I’ve been doing mock trial for so long.”
Senior Caroline Osborn — whose mother, Katy, serves as the team’s legal adviser — said the team’s finish goes to show how hard Springfield students work and what they can do when they put in effort.
“It really shows that we can really work hard and that we really do want to win,” she said. “I know that sometimes Springfield has a little bit of a bad reputation, but I think that this program goes to show how dedicated and inspired the students here are.”
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