Perry High School’s Mock Trial Team Competes at State Competition

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After a successful win at both the district and regional levels, Perry High School’s (PHS) mock trial team competed at the state competition March 8-10 in Columbus against St. Xavier High School and Upper Arlington High School. Unfortunately, Perry lost to Upper Arlington and did not advance to the final rounds.

“Although we did not advance to the second day, I am proud of the student’s hard work throughout the season,” said Debra Warstler, PHS English teacher, and team advisor. “They exemplified true professionalism throughout the season and were a great representation of the outstanding students we have here at Perry.”

Mock trial competitions involve students participating in original, unscripted simulated trials written by attorneys. Teams argue both sides of the case in real courtrooms.

The Perry team consists of eight students, including sophomore Jacob Hervey, junior Kamryn Sparks and freshmen Lincoln Warstler and Sydnie Oakleaf, who participate as lawyers; and seniors JT Greiner and Aubrianna Grisez, junior Taylor Anthony and sophomore Blake Tausch, who participate as witnesses.

The competitions began with 347 teams throughout the State of Ohio. Only 34 teams advanced to the state level.

“We had a young, dedicated team this year,” continued Warstler. “This was a building year for our members to learn and grow. I could not be happier with their performance. I want to thank Legal Advisor John Burnworth of Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths and Dougherty’s for dedicating his time and expertise to help our students. He has made a tremendous impact over the past four years.”

The students have been preparing since November to learn roles, write opening and closing speeches and practice full trials. Burnworth and Warstler dedicated their time to help the students prepare by coaching them on courtroom decorum and trial practices.

“The mock trial team has done a remarkable job,” said Superintendent Scott Beatty. “We were proud to have each of the team members represent the district at states. Well done!”

Students who demonstrate speaking and presentation abilities are hand-selected by staff members to be on the team.

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