For the third straight year, NCHS students participated in the Delaware High School Mock Trial Competition, which was held at the New Castle County Courthouse in February. In this competition, students are tasked to assume the roles of the witnesses and attorneys in a hypothetical court case. One part drama and one part civics, this competition calls on students to demonstrate dramatic and improvisational skills while also remembering case law, legal maneuvers, and courtroom etiquette. This year, the school sent two teams to the tournament to participate in the murder case State of Delaware v. Quinn Penner.
Our “A-Team” finished an impressive 2-2, defeating St. Andrews and defending State Champion Saint Marks while losing close match-ups with Archmere and (this year’s state champion) Wilmington Friends. Junior Olivia Skaug and Sophomore Michael Chen both won two “Golden Gavels” for their performances. Charmy Patel, Eesha Ahmed, Jimmy Williams, MacKenzie Mills, Nick Gugerty, Ryan Fredd, Ryan Younce, Shaily Patel, Sophia Cherouri, and Veronica Kook all contributed to our school’s best finish in the tournament.
The “B-Team” also proved to be formidable in its matches, with strong performances by Alek Gliwa, Allie Bloom, Brendan Wilson, Camile Olsen, David Neyman, Hannah Kim, Kavya Beldona, Maggie Blake, and Travis Deibert. Junior Anthony Dalton and Freshman Esha Shah led the way for this team, both of whom received Golden Gavels for their performances.
The team is led by faculty coaches Mr. Brent Freccia, who teaches 10th grade US History, and English teacher Mr. Timothy Jadick. Newark Charter parents Ms. Debbie Gottschalk and Mr. Matt Bartkowski, both Delaware attorneys, worked with the teams over the course of 18 after-school practices in the weeks leading up to the tournament. Freshman Maggie Blake summed up the experience this way: “Mock Trial was an amazing opportunity that helped me explore what I want to pursue in a career. It was an honor and a thrill to collaborate with all of the other students, teachers and lawyers.”