The Winsor School mock trial team accepts third place at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Raleigh, NC.
Representing Massachusetts, the Winsor School of Boston placed
third out of 46 teams in the National High School Mock Trial
Championship in Raleigh, North Carolina, on May 15-16, tying the
best-ever finish for a Massachusetts school.
Winsor, an all-girls private school, prevailed over each team it
faced - Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama -
making it the first Massachusetts team to go undefeated in all four
trials at the national tournament. Winsor only narrowly missed a
chance to vie for the championship, ultimately won by Nebraska over
runner-up Georgia, falling one ballot short under the tournament's
judging system. In addition to Winsor's strong team finish, Winsor
junior Rebecca Koppel of Wellesley won an Outstanding Attorney
award, which recognized her as one of the top 10 students in the
nearly 400-student field.
"Congratulations to the exceptional student attorneys from the
Winsor School's Mock Trial Team, who represented Massachusetts so
admirably on the national stage. We are very proud of their
tremendous accomplishments," said Martin W. Healy, chief legal
counsel and chief operating officer of the Massachusetts Bar
Association, which has run Massachusetts' state mock trial program
for 30 years. "We are grateful to the parents, teachers and
volunteers, whose support and collaboration helped make the
students' successful journey to the national competition so
The national championship, sponsored by the ABOTA Foundation and
the Foundation of the International Association of Defense Counsel,
placed high school teams from across the United States, plus one
from South Korea, in simulated courtroom situations, where they
assumed the roles of lawyers, defendants and witnesses in a
hypothetical case. Winsor earned the right to compete in the
national championship by winning its third consecutive
Massachusetts state championship in March - its fourth state title
The students competing for Winsor at the national championship
were senior captain Polly Gabrieli; junior captains Rebecca Koppel
and Michelle Walsh; juniors Pallavi Krishnamurthy, Anna Morrow, and
Caroline Nahill; and sophomores Alexandra Farina and Helen Sayegh.
Other traveling members of the state championship team were juniors
Anna Davidge and Anya Keomurjian; sophomores Isabel Macenka, Emma
Pan, and Saphia Suarez; and freshmen Genevieve Collins, who served
as the team's official timekeeper, and Lucie Kapner.
"Our team was tough, resilient, and determined," said Judge
David Weingarten, first justice of the Roxbury Division of the
Boston Municipal Court and one of the Winsor team coaches. "Their
incredibly thorough preparation put them in a position to respond
with clarity to problems that arose in trial, allowed them to
figure out how to take tough stands and calculated risks as
witnesses and, generally, gave them a forum to demonstrate their
power as thinkers, public speakers and fighters. This is a team
sport and the Winsor girls backed each other deeply and smartly.
The results speak loudly for themselves."
In addition to Weingarten, the team was coached by attorney Josh
McGuire and teacher-coach Laura Antuna. Interestingly, McGuire was
a member of the 1990 and 1991 Newton North Mock Trial Teams, which
were the only other Massachusetts teams to finish as high as third
A portion of Winsor's trip to North Carolina was funded by a
$2,500 donation from the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the
philanthropic partner of the Massachusetts Bar Association.