Order in the court! Students attend Mock Trials

Students attend Mock Trials

Students from Montoursville High School acted as lawyers and witnesses, built their own court cases, defended prosecutions, plaintiffs and the defense while competing against other schools and courtroom simulations at Harvard University’s Mock Trial Seminar for High School Students.

Montoursville High School currently has the only Mock Trial team in Lycoming County and is a part of the Northcentral Region, District 1, for the state Mock Trial competition. On the team is 18 members in 10th to 12th grade with two team divisions: Advanced and novice.

The team captains are seniors London Mussina and Jennie Brouse, junior Shelby Beltz and sophomore Lanie Mussina. Susan Earl, of Montoursville Area High School, and Nicole Ippolito, of McNerney, Paige, Vanderlin and Hall, coach the team.

On the team are seniors London Mussina, Brouse, Justice Wheeler and Alexander Kremer; juniors, Beltz, Phoenix Boyles and Julianna Kula-Wright; and sophomores, Lanie Mussina, Jordan Hassinger, Ashley Wheeland, Ian Labatch, Ionut Reynolds, Tyler Gilbert, Ben Nields, Sarah O’Brien, Noah Shaffer, Greyson Simms and Noah Huffman.

Prior to the Mock Trials, students listened in on lectures held by students attending Harvard University and attended breakout sessions to learn the basics of the Mock Trials. They learned about writing direct examinations, conducting cross examinations of a witness, writing opening and closing statements, how to handle objections during a case and witness development.

Montoursville’s advance and novice teams had a scrimmage against American Heritage High School, of Florida. Juniors Boyles and Kula-Wright were recognized as Outstanding Witnesses in their respective scrimmages.

Donations were received from Lycoming Law Association for $2,000; Alexander Family Dealerships, $500; Fort Muncy Garden Centers held a fundraiser that raised $1,000 that were donated for Montoursville students to attend the Harvard University Mock Trial Seminar. Students held a rummage sale, burger burns and had stands at the Montoursville Fall Festival to aid the cost for the trip.

While in Massachusetts, the students got to go on an educational tour of Boston’s Freedom Trail where they visited the USS Constitution in the Naval Yards, the Old North Church, the Boston Massacre site, Boston Commons, Faneuil Hall, Kings Church Burial Grounds and Granary Burial Ground.


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