GWL Order in the Court!
During the fall and winter of 2020-21, Glenwood Landing fifth grade students under the guidance of School-wide Enrichment Specialist, Mrs. Audra Marcantonio diligently prepared for a complex Mock Trial court case called, The People of NY v. Carl. After 7 months of working hard and practicing, the GWL students learned about the law, how to be good communicators and how to collaborate with other people. “In the beginning they were all by themselves, but by the end they were all working as a team, even if they were on different sides,” said students Savannah Plosky and Katie Lynch.
In March 2021, a dress rehearsal of the “young” lawyers, court personnel, and witnesses took place in the GWL auditorium under the direction of School-wide Enrichment Specialist, Mrs. Audra Marcantonio. Dressed in their best suits, dresses, and/or slacks and shirts, members of the GWL Mock Trial Club pleaded their case to the judge portrayed by Mrs. Marcantonio.

Whether assigned to the prosecution or the defense team, participation in the Mock Trial Club requires students to communicate, collaborate, and cooperate with one another in exploring legal solutions to the complex case before them: The People of NY v. Carl.

The GWL Mock Trial Club spent months developing trial strategy, formulating questions for direct examination and cross examination, and drafted opening statements and closing arguments. The dedicated students worked collaboratively to craft and practice questioning strategies, revise theories, learn and rehearse trial testimony and etiquette (including making and responding to objections. Additionally, they needed to understand and apply complex relevant legal standards to the facts of the case and communicate and interact cohesively to be successful. Not an easy task, and very authentic to a real courtroom.

On March 23, 2021, approximately 20 schools competed in the virtual Mock Trial Competition that in the past was hosted by Suffolk Community College. Savannah and Katie concluded, “Because of all their hard work, the defense team won both the case and best acting! Working hard really does pay off!”


Article written with assistance from students Savannah Plosky and Katie Lynch 

Photos by Shelly Newman and Mrs. Marcantonio