JACKSON TWP.  The Jackson Memorial Middle School (JMMS) Mock Trial team capped off their first year with amazing results at the state level competition, scoring 99 out of 120 points to earn a Superior ranking.

Advisor Chelsea Clapper started the Jackson Memorial Middle School Mock Trial program this year for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. The team presented its first case in state competitions on March 31 in Columbus.

The middle school showcase, hosted by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE), had 32 middle schools from across the state bring their best students to compete. Clapper had 10 students compete. 

"This year’s case was based on the novel 'Johnny Tremain' by Esther Forbes," Clapper said. "The case is Johnny Tremain versus the British Crown. It’s set in Boston during the American Revolution. The students argued for or against whether he committed treason. Half of the team presented as attorneys and half were witnesses."

Teams competed for a superlative of Excellent, Outstanding or Superior. Jackson students earned the Superior ranking for the team, but also won individual awards for Outstanding Witness and Outstanding Lawyer.

"Jordan Herrmann won the Best Attorney and Jamie Mayfield won for Best Witness. Jackson had the only middle school in Stark County compete and our team did an amazing job," Clapper said.

Clapper said she hopes to prepare the middle school students to participate in the high school mock trial program. She believes the time spent in the middle school mock trial will help students be more practiced for the high school level of competition.

"The students will start to develop several pertinent skills through the middle school mock trial program such as critical thinking, speaking skills, thinking on their feet, role playing and examining a problem from multiple perspectives," Clapper said. "I’m really proud of all of the student’s hard work and they surpassed all expectations by earning the Superior ranking."