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KO’s Middle School Team Advances to Mock Trial Quarterfinals

For the second straight year, KO’s Middle School Mock Trial team has advanced to the quarterfinals of a statewide contest sponsored by Civics First. Photo credit: Ina Lawrence.

The team, which includes West Hartford residents, has had tremendous success in statewide competition.

Submitted by Michelle Murphy, Director of Communications and Marketing, Kingswood Oxford School

For the second straight year, KO’s Middle School Mock Trial team has advanced to the quarterfinals of a statewide contest sponsored by Civics First. Photo credit: Ina Lawrence.

For the second straight year, KO’s Middle School Mock Trial team has advanced to the quarterfinals of a statewide contest sponsored by Civics First. Photo credit: Ina Lawrence.

For the second year in a row, Kingswood Oxford’s Middle School Mock Trial team emerged as one of the four best schools (out of 12) at the regional level of a statewide Civics First contest and will now compete in the quarterfinals on March 3.

KO’s 18-member team prevailed over Dag Hammarskjold Middle School of Wallingford (on the plaintiffs’ side) and St. Paul’s of Bristol (on the defense).

“It is so gratifying to see how far the team came from our first meeting in September,” said Ryan Costantini, a lawyer for United Technologies who serves as the team’s Attorney Coach. “The students were eager to learn and improve their skills and were willing to make the sacrifices necessary to get to the next level.”

Mock Trial began at KO just seven years ago, when the Middle School team was started by Costantini and KO English teacher Nancy Horowitz. English teacher Lynne Levine is also now a coach.

Since then, the MS team has made it to the quarterfinals twice and to the semifinals in 2010-11. In 2012, Mock Trial was added to the Upper School, as well.

For the Feb. 5 competition, the plaintiffs’ attorneys were Mike Autorino ’19, Gavin Mastella ’19, and Matt Villani ’19; the defense attorneys were Thomas Betts ’19, Spencer Schaller ’20, and Kali Lawrence ’19.

Witnesses for the plaintiff were Andrew Holland ’19, Brooke Avery ’20, and Matt Marottolo ’20, while the defense witnesses were Matt Safalow ’19, Aidan O’Loughlin ’20, and Amara Haider ’19.

Lawyers-in-training were Jacob Scheinblum ’21 and Ishaan Patel ’20, and Michael Greco ’21, Kyle Frankel ’21, Evan Bygreen ’21, and James Ravalese ’20 were witnesses-in-training. Patel and Scheinblum were also bailiffs and timekeepers.

“I continue to be amazed at what a middle school student is capable of doing in a school environment where the faculty encourages curiosity and where students are comfortable taking risks and pursuing intellectual endeavors,” said Costantini.

Applications are still being accepted for September 2015 enrollment; for information or to arrange an interview, contact the Admissions Office at 860-727-5000 or [email protected]k-o.org.

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