Jenks High School Named Mock Trial State Champion

March 6, 2024

Jenks High School’s Team Courtroom Crusaders edged out Oklahoma City’s Academy of Classical Christian Studies to claim the Oklahoma High Schoo Mock Trial Championship. This is the second time Jenks High School has won the championship and the first time the Academy of Classical Christian Studies has made it to the final round of competition. 

The Mock Trial program, now in its 44th year, involves teams of students portraying attorneys and defendants in a courtroom setting, with judges and attorneys evaluating their performance. The final round was held Tuesday, March 5, at the OU College of Law in Norman. The case the two teams argued was a fictional civil trial that examined how a social media influencer’s negligent and reckless conduct and disregard for health, safety and well-being led to one follower’s death. 

“The program gives students a unique opportunity to develop public speaking, presentation and critical thinking skills while encouraging an interest in and an appreciation of our judicial system,” said Mock Trial Committee Chair Orion Strand. “We are proud of all the students who participated in the Mock Trial competition and are excited for Jenks High School to represent Oklahoma in the national competition in Delaware in May.” 


The Jenks team was coached by teacher and attorney Mike Horn and assistant coaches Kody Engle, Justin McCrackin and Levi Applegate. Team members were Ester Chen, Alyssa Engle, Elaine Gao, Ann Gao, Valery Gutierrez, Adam Humphrey, Noah Markham, Whitaker McManus, Sara Moreno, Sahil Patel and Molli Thomas. 

The Academy of Classical Christian Studies team was coached by attorney Jennifer Stall and teachers Anne Kirby and Chism Young. Team members were Ellie Cheng, Jack Dodson, Ethan Hoyle, George Leydorf, Isaiah Payne, Charlie Peterson, Maggie Peterson, Nick Simon, Logan Spencer and Avery Kate Thomas. 

Other top finishers were third place, Jenks High School’s Team Corner Tigers; fourth, Owasso High School’s Team Barbie; fifth, Broken Arrow High School; sixth, McAlester High School’s Team Black; seventh, McAlester High School’s Team Gold; and eighth, Clinton High School. 

Earning awards as best attorneys were Elaine Gao and Jack Dodson, with Molli Thomas and Maggie Peterson winning best witness honors. Matthew Livingston, with Jenks High School, won the best courtroom artist award, and Kadence Kibler, with Clinton High School, won the best courtroom journalist award. 

The Mock Trial program is sponsored and funded by the Oklahoma Bar Foundation and the Oklahoma Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. More than 300 judges and attorneys volunteered their time to work with mock trial teams as coaches and to conduct the competitions. 

The Oklahoma Bar Foundation, through its grants and awards program, allocates funds to nonprofit agencies and programs like Mock Trial. The mission of the foundation is to ensure justice is possible for all Oklahomans through the promotion of law, education and access to justice. The 18,000-member Oklahoma Bar Association, headquartered in Oklahoma City, was created by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to advance the administration of justice and to foster and maintain learning, integrity, competence, public service and high standards of conduct among Oklahoma’s legal community. 


The Mock Trial program is sponsored and funded by the Oklahoma Bar Foundation and the OBA Young Lawyers Division with coordination by Judy Spencer. More than 300 judges and attorneys volunteered their time to work with mock trial teams as coaches and to conduct the competitions.

Presiding and Scoring Judges
Retired Canadian County District Judge Edward Cunningham served as presiding judge during the competition finals. Scoring judges were Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals Judge David B. Lewis, Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Noma Gurich, U.S. Western District Judge Shon T. Erwin, U.S. Western District Judge Charles B. Goodwin and U.S. Western District Bankruptcy Court Judge Sarah Hall.
The judges evaluated the students based on their familiarity with the case and the formulation of their arguments. Students received points for each phase of the trial, opening, direct and cross-examination, closing argument and how well their witnesses responded. Teams were paired with volunteer attorney coaches.

Mock Trial Executive Committee
• Orion Strand, chair
• Jennifer Bruner, immediate past chair
• Kevin Cunningham, case development chair

Mock Trial Committee Members
• S. Shea Bracken
• Andrew Casey
• Christine Cave
• Andrew Medley
• Anthony Purinton
• Michael Nesser
• Gessica Sewell
• Carolyn Thompson, honorary Oklahoma City and Tulsa volunteer coordinator

All 2024 Volunteers
Ana Basor-Walker
Jerry Bass**
Jeff Beeler
Kelly Bergin
Howard Berkson**
Scott Biggs
Kelly Bishop
James Bland*
Jerry Breathwit*
Aaron Bruner*
Greg Calvert**
John Cannon
Mary Clements
John Cramer
Dan Crawford**
Sonia Cronister
Steven Crow
Daniel Delleumo
John Denneny**
Judge Deidre Dexter**
Kara Didier**
Stacie Dillard-Self
Lauren Dutton
Judge Shon Erwin***
Tom Ferguson
Craig Fitzgerald*
Charles Geister**
Aaron Goodman*
Alyssa Gordy-Leland
Bradley Gungoll
Judge David Guten *
Scott Hawkins*
Kari Hawthorn
Dorothy Heim*
Shane Henry**
Virginia Henson
Judge Stacie Hixon
Alix Hughes**
Kelly Kavalier
Richard Kirby
Judge Nikki Kirkpatrick
William Kirkpatrick
Rick Knighton
Erin Laine
Danielle Layden
Christopher Lind
Maren Lively
Kevin Mattax*
Law McMeans*
JudgeTim Mills*
Beth Muckala
Jequita Napoli
Drew Nichols
Jenna Owens
Patti Parrish
Matt Patterson
Stu Peterson
Mariana Pitts
Anthony Purinton
Autin Rabon
Robert Redemann**
Trevor Riddle*
Tom Robertson
Dana Roosa
Erik Roscom
Kurt Rupert
Andrea Rust
Scott Sampson
Judge Mark Schwebke**
Tommy Sims
Kelly Smakel
Jeanne Snider
Paiten Tayloe-Qualls*
Nick Thurman
Georgenia VanTuyl**
Ron Walker*
Sharon Weaver**
Lucas West
Ashlet Weyland

*- Denotes volunteers who served more than once
** – Denotes volunteers who served more than once and on different trial dates