Last week, students from Mabel School took home a victory in the regional Middle School Mock Trial competition, a contest that divides students into prosecution and defense teams, and sets them to play the parts of each in front of a real judge and jury of attorneys in a courtroom.
The school’s mock trial team won their local competition at Watauga County Courthouse, and scored highly enough to go to to represent District 7 at the Middle School Mock Trial state competition.
North Carolina Educational District 7 is comprised of Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Hickory, McDowell, Mitchell, Newton-Conover, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey counties.
Jacob Beach, the group’s adviser and Mabel School’s Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) teacher said preparation for the mock trial competition was a great time investment for the kids involved — one which took hours of practice on their part.
“Students had to work to prepare questions for witnesses from provided witness statements and build questions from pieces of evidence/documents,” Beach said. “Practice often consisted of students questioning each other to help the lawyers get to know their part, and help the witnesses to get into character and be ready for any question that came their way.”
One of Mabel’s attorneys, Ella Ugenti, said she enjoyed the challenge and camaraderie of participating in the mock trial competition.
“Mock trial was a really fun but challenging experience. You really had to work well with your team, which at times was difficult, but I think we all enjoyed it, and hopefully we will win state,” Ugenti said.
Ugenti’s teammate and fellow attorney, Madison Welch, said the experience had interested her in a career in law.
“This experience was amazing and intimidating. It is so real it was scary. This experience made me realize that I might want to be a lawyer as a future career,” Welch said.
Mabel’s mock trial team is made up of: Elijah Scott, Shelby Barker, Diane McGlamery, Riley Hollars, Aubry Spaulding, Brelyn Sturgill, Kyle Hollars, Ella Ugenti, Madison Welch, Fayla Martin, Isaiah Watson and Miriam Spaulding.
The team is raising money for their trip to the state competition. A GoFundMe page is available at www.gofundme.com/mabel-to-state-mock-trial.