Mock Trial Team 2020

Mock Trial Season Recap – Order in the Court!

Our Mock Trial team was off to an exciting start before their season was cut short. The team, led by Upper School History Teacher Dr. Tanya Roth and Assistant Coach and Upper School History Teacher Elizabeth Wells, came in first place at Regionals. In the final weekend of spring break, they should have competed at State, but that match and Nationals were ultimately canceled. We are still so proud of our team for their regionals victory and lessons learned along the way!

Altogether, 27 Upper Schoolers participated across three teams in the preliminary rounds. Out of the 27 teammates, the 10 below competed at regionals and would have gone on to State. Every member listed with an asterisk competed for all four years of high school.

  • Sandra Polanco ’20*
  • Celia Sprong ’20*
  • Ceci Cohen ’20
  • Campbell Graves ’20*
  • James Bilderback ’20*
  • Hope Pohlman ’20
  • Ethan Stevenson ’20*
  • Megana Atluri ’20*
  • Boyu Liu ’20
  • Aanya Tiwari ’23

Although the finish to their senior Mock Trial season has been different than expected, some seniors took a moment to reflect on what the program means to them.

Campbell Graves ’20 shares, “I have learned that through perseverance and hard work, you can master any skill. I have so many memories of blunders and missteps from freshman year of Mock Trial, but I learned from these mistakes to reach the level of success from this most recent year and the previous years’ time at the state level.

“I have grown both as a person and as a competitor. I feel like I can not only communicate more effectively with others, but I am also able to lead them as well. I feel like anyone can benefit from Mock Trial as I have, and I would encourage anyone and everyone to give it a shot.

“This has been the most important team for me in my high school career. I have invested hundreds of hours inside and outside practice over memorization, communication and presentation. Through my time I have not only evolved into a more confident public speaker, but it has gifted me with relationships I know I will continue to cherish once I am in college. There is no other way I would have wished to spend my time and I am happy for the effort I have given over these four years.”

Senior Ceci Cohen ’20 commented on the challenge of preparation. “The hardest part of Mock Trial is needing to be prepared for anything that comes our way because it’s difficult to know exactly what to expect. The biggest lesson that I learned was how to work on my toes and be prepared for anything. I am a witness, so this is especially the case on cross-examination, but I have definitely taken these skills I have learned in Mock Trial outside of the courtroom and used them in everyday life. From Mock Trial, I have learned a lot about law and how trials work while having fun with my friends. It is a major time commitment, but it is worth every second.”

Megana Atluri ’20 reflected on her Mock Trial experience too. “I improved immensely as a public speaker,” she said. “Watching our improvement every year made the 7-9 practices worth it. By the time senior year rolled around, not making it to State wasn’t an option. Getting first at regionals was surreal.”

Atluri also sums up the close-knit team dynamic: “Mock Trial brought a lot of people who you wouldn’t expect together. A lot of us are in different classes and friend groups, but we have become so close because of Mock Trial, and watching our team go from strangers to close friends has been a journey.”

“My top lesson from Mock Trial is that if you give something your all, there is no way you can be disappointed with the outcome,” shares Sandra Polanco ’20. “I dedicated myself to this club and I was given the opportunity to compete in a number of trials. I wouldn’t trade the feeling of being in a courtroom for anything.

“Mock Trial has highlighted my embrace of collectivism, passion, and innovation through tough cases and even tougher competition, but nothing stops me from striving for greatness. Mock Trial does not just represent academia, long hours and constant revisions; it has become my home. This community has provided me with a dysfunctional, yet determined family of friends. This family brought out my confidence and helped me grow not only as a leader but as an aspiring lawyer. My biggest take away is that it is not always about what you are doing but who you are doing it with.”

There’s no questioning that we are proud of our Mock Trial team and the lessons they’ve learned. Case closed!