The judges have spoken.
Mock trial teams from W. Tresper Clarke High School in the East Meadow district and Bay Shore High School are this year’s Nassau and Suffolk county regional winners, respectively, and are heading to the state level of competition.
W. Tresper Clarke placed first in Nassau’s regional championship at the State Supreme Court in Mineola, defeating a team from The Wheatley School in Old Westbury in the final round. Meanwhile, Bay Shore defeated a team from Ward Melville High School in East Setauket in their regional championship’s final round at the Suffolk County Courthouse in Central Islip.
Bay Shore had been eliminated by Ward Melville in the final round of their regionals for the past two years. The school also won regional titles in 1984 and 2007.
“These students work extremely hard throughout the year to prepare and their dedication is evident from the performance they deliver in the courtroom,” Bay Shore Superintendent Joseph Bond said.
This year’s fictional case consisted of a civil plaintiff suing a county for false imprisonment in relation to a robbery and slaying at a convenience store. Teams received the case summary in December to prepare for the regular season’s preliminary rounds, which began in February. The playoff tournaments ended in early April.
Judging, which was handled by attorneys and judges throughout the various rounds, was based on factors ranging from the strength of cases to the students’ knowledge of legal proceedings.
The Nassau County Bar Association coordinates the annual mock trial tournament in Nassau County, and with 50 high school teams participating, it is the largest single-county contest in the state. The Suffolk County Bar Association coordinates the tournament for high school teams in that county.
The Clarke and Bay Shore teams will face six other regional winners at the state finals in Albany on May 21-23.
Junior Iron Chef
Teams from Seneca Middle School and Little Flower School placed first in the Middle School and high school divisions, respectively, of the Long Island Junior Iron Chef Competition, which challenged teams of three to five students to create recipes.
Seneca’s “Super Fresh Breakfast Boyz” beat 12 Middle School teams with a guacamole sunrise stack, while Little Flower’s “Tiger Lilies” beat seven high school teams with a lentil quinoa kale broth. Recipes were limited to five main ingredients, including two USDA ingredients used in school cafeterias.
The event was coordinated by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County and Whole Foods Market.
Six Suffolk County students and one school newspaper were first-place winners in various categories at LIU Post’s Best of High School Journalism Awards. Entries had to be original work appearing in a student publication or broadcast in 2016, with judging based on accuracy, clarity, creativity and adherence to journalistic standards.
Winners and their categories were: Nicole Rosenthal and Christine Seo, Half Hollow Hills High School West, best commentary/editorial; Marlie Allen and Megan Konfino, Commack High School, best sports story; Zach Abrams and James Oldham, Commack High School, best news story; and The Red & Black, Patchogue-Medford High School, best online publication.
Ten Long Island students were among more than 1,000 high school seniors nationwide named recipients of corporate-sponsored scholarships through the National Merit Scholarship Corp. The scholarships range from single payments of between $2,500 and $5,000 to annual stipends of up to $10,000 that are renewable for up to four years of undergraduate study.
Winners and their high schools were: Jonathan Gao, Great Neck North; Michelle Gery, Syosset; Emily Knott and Carley Rowe, Smithtown East; Nikita Podobedov, Ward Melville in East Setauket; Vishal Nyayapathi of Half Hollow Hills East in Dix Hills; Lauren Reiss, Great Neck South; Edgar Sit, Roslyn; Nita Wong, Herricks; Cory Zhou, Smithtown West.
CLARIFICATION: A previous version of this story did not include mention of the Nassau County Bar Association and Suffolk County Bar Association as coordinators of mock trial tournaments in the respective counties.