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Suffolk School Notebook: Stella K. Abraham, Northport win at mock trial

A team from Stella K. Abraham High School

A team from Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls in Hewlett won first place in this year's Nassau County Mock Trial Tournament. Credit: Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls

Teams from Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls in Hewlett and Northport High School are this year's mock trial champions on Long Island.

Stella K. Abraham's team placed first this spring in the regional championships for Nassau County, where in the final round it defeated a team from North Shore Hebrew Academy High School. Meanwhile, Northport's team placed first in the regional championships for Suffolk County, where in the final round it bested a team from Kings Park High School.

The two teams advanced last month to the state level, where Stella K. Abraham placed second after losing in the final round to the High School of American Studies at Lehman College in the Bronx.

"The mock trial students at Stella K. Abraham showed great resilience and dedication, developing a fantastic work ethic and team spirit that led us to victory," said the school's coach Brynde Berkowitz.

Participating teams acted as the defense or prosecution to demonstrate their knowledge of law and courtroom procedures in a trial case. Judging was handled by local attorneys and judges, and all tournaments were held virtually.

The Nassau and Suffolk county bar associations coordinated the tournaments for Nassau and Suffolk counties, respectively. The state tournament was sponsored by the New York State Bar Association.


National Councils of Excellence

The student governments at John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore and Westbury High School have been named 2021 National Gold Councils of Excellence, while the one at Bellport High School has been named a National Council of Excellence, by the National Student Council.

To be considered, the organizations must have "implemented a strong leadership program that meets council goals, functioned in an ethical and responsible way, and engaged others in leadership, spirit and service activities," according to the national council.

The three student governments were among nine statewide to be recognized.


Moot court champs

A Longwood High School team — Nicole Acosta, Y Loni Glenn, Diana Khan, Mason Mehling and Makayla Zito — took first place in the 2021 Virtual One-on-One Civil Law Moot Court Tournament, which consisted of 16 teams from Long Island and Queens. This is the second consecutive year that one of the school's teams won the tournament.

Participating teams were tasked with demonstrating their knowledge of law and courtroom procedures in a trial case that involved issues relevant to young people. To win, Longwood prepared and presented in five legal cases and in the final round defeated a team from Massapequa High School.

Judging was based on criteria including preparation, performance and professionalism.


Merit scholarships

Twenty-seven Long Island students are among about 3,100 high school seniors nationwide named winners of corporate-sponsored scholarships through the National Merit Scholarship Corp. The scholarships provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.

Winners and their high schools are: Jordan Walsh, Commack; Sydney Carter, Comsewogue; Tucker Kabbaz, East Hampton; Patrick Donnelly, East Meadow; Brennan Finnegan, Elwood; Jacob Sinanan, Floral Park; Juliana Josinsky, Half Hollow Hills East; Ty Ellenbogen and Jacky Xie, Harborfields; Samuel Leung, Herricks; Andreas Seferian, Huntington; William Hu, Jericho; Gavin Stumpf, Longwood; Devin DiMascio, Massapequa; Tyler O'Neill, Wellington C. Mepham; Samantha Civil, Oceanside; Luke Andersen, Plainedge; Ashlynne Xavier, Rocky Point; Natalie Machado, Sachem East; Jacob Schorr and Erik Tang, Paul D. Schreiber; Daniel Julian, Shoreham-Wading River; Fiona Needham, Smithtown West; Alexa Trapani, Syosset; Gani Ates, Earl L. Vandermeulen; Aidan Garemani, Walt Whitman; and Julia Zhu, Ward Melville.


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