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Issue 2

Fall 2017

Partnering With Teachers to Bring Citizenship to Life

Research Proves It: Teachable Moment:
We the People Makes Smarter The Power of
Teachers and Students! Active Citizens
Beginning in 2015, the Center for Civic Education received a As an organization, OCLRE has long
three-year SEED (Supporting Effective Educator Development) advocated for empowering students to
Grant from the U.S. Department of Education. As a result, 46 become active and engaged citizens with
states have instituted the James Madison Legacy Project (JMLP) to the vision and knowledge to make a
implement the We the People curriculum and test effective teacher difference. This year, we are celebrating
professional development and its impact on students. More than the power of individuals to make a
600 teachers across the country have participated yearly. difference in our democracy.

The results are in! Using data from the 2015-16 school year, Dr. We will kick off our program year at the
Diana Owen and her team at Georgetown University have shown 2017 Law & Citizenship Conference.
that the We the People professional developments and curriculum The theme this year is “Of the People,
are increasing civic knowledge in teachers and students. By the People, For the People: The
Power of Active Citizens.” Together we
Teachers’ civic knowledge in JMLP year 1 increased significantly will explore how individuals throughout
after they completed the professional developments. JMLP history have stood up to injustice, either
teachers scored an average of 18% higher on a civic knowledge as plaintiffs in a court case, participants
test compared to control teachers. in organized protests or as advocates for
underrepresented groups in our society.
High school students whose teachers received We the People //cont. P4
professional development scored 41% higher on civic knowledge tests
than their peers whose teachers did not receive the training. At the
middle school level, students whose teachers received JMLP training
scored 17% higher than their peers on a knowledge test. //cont. P2

In This Issue
2018 Ohio Mock Trial Case Capsule 2

Awards & Honor Roll Recipients 3

New School, New Students,
New Experiences; Same Love
for We the People 5

Thank You Donors! 5

Restructuring Our Mentor Program 6
Research Proves It (cont. from P1)

2018 Ohio Mock Trial
Case Capsule

2018 is the 35th anniversary of the
Ohio Mock Trial Program! To mark
this momentous occasion, OCLRE is
tackling a most-requested case topic: a
murder trial… with a Constitutional

Inspired by the popular podcast, Serial,
the 2018 case asks students to undertake
The study will be continued nationwide in the 2017-18 school
the post-conviction relief petition of
years. Additional findings will be published as they become
Adam Smith. In October 1999, Smith
available on
was convicted of the murder of Hayley
Leigh, his ex-girlfriend and fellow
In each year of 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, nine Ohio teachers
student at Trillium High. Almost 20
participated in the James Madison Legacy Project. The following
years later, Smith has filed a petition for
Ohio teachers are taking part in 2017 JMLP:
a new trial, alleging ineffective assistance
of counsel. Smith contends that his
Jason Duffield, Marion Franklin High School; Mark Hoffman,
original attorney mishandled cell phone
Independence High School; Mike Huff, Bishop Watterson High
evidence in his case, and failed to pursue
School; Lisa Love, Miller High School; Keath Luke, South High
a potential alibi witness. The state has
School; Jennifer Pluta, Lorain County JVS; Courtney Reiner,
set an evidentiary hearing to consider
Ayersville High School; Sarah Rhoads, Columbus City Prep
Smith’s motion for a new trial. Due to
School for Girls; Jinnifer Roach, Middleburg Heights Junior High
serious attorney misconduct, Smith’s
School; Melissa Unklesby, Tuscarawas Middle School; Rhonda
original trial attorney was disbarred
Warneck, Vanguard Sentinel Career and Tech Center.
only a few years after his case. Both
sides have agreed to the attorney’s
Front: Melissa Unklesby, Courtney Reiner, Sarah Rhoads, Keath
deficient representation. As a result, the
Luke and Mark Hoffman. Middle: Lisa Love, Jennifer Pluta,
hearing will focus on whether there is a
Rhonda Warneck Back: Mark Dickman (Findlay HS mentor),
reasonable probability that the outcome
Mike Huff, Jason Duffield
of the case would have been different
but for the ineffective trial counsel

The 2018 case challenges students with
interpreting tricky evidence, hunting
for clues in individual recollections that
have faded over the past 20 years, and
ultimately balancing the evidence of guilt
against the blunders of an overworked

Good luck, and we look forward to
seeing students bring the case to life!

Eiler, Founders’ Award Recipients Announced
On behalf of the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education and its Board of Trustees, it is a pleasure to announce the
2017 recipients of OCLRE’s highest honors.

Lori U. Eiler Award for Mock Trial Coaching Excellence

Athens, Ohio, attorney Scott Robe is beloved by current and former members of the Olivia
Davidson Washington mock trial club. A model of civility and patience, Scott instills in
students an appreciation and respect for the law, as well as their mock trial competitors.
Student Ashley Goodin said of Scott, “[h]e encouraged me to, ‘Take your eyes off the other
teams and put them on the model of excellence. Your aim is not to beat those other teams;
your aim is to excel.’”


Founders’ Award

Richard (Dick) Smith is the recipient of the Founders’ Award. Dick has literally been
involved with OCLRE from the beginning, among the handful of teachers whose students
participated in the inaugural Ohio Mock Trial competition in 1983. Even after retiring from
teaching, Dick continued to assist the Marysville mock trial teams for many years, and he
has volunteered for OCLRE in numerous ways, including having served on our Law &
Citizenship Conference planning committee. Dick retired from Marysville Schools after 39
years of teaching and coaching. He continues to give back to the community through his
service to the Marysville Board of Education and the Union County Courts.

2017 OCLRE Civics & Law Honor Roll
Students Announced
The Civics & Law Honor Roll recognizes students in grades 9-12 who have demonstrated a commitment
to civic learning and engagement. The following students were nominated by a teacher or other civic
leader and have been named to the OCLRE 2017 Civics & Law Honor Roll:

Zachary Atkinson, Anthony Wayne High School (Lucas County); Elizabeth Barrowman, Teays Valley
High School (Pickaway County); Milan Bhandari, Indian Hill High School (Hamilton County); Aaron
Bialon, Summit Country Day High School (Hamilton County); Greg Comstock, John Marshall School
of Civics and Business (Cuyahoga County); Eli Cole, Portsmouth West High School (Scioto County);
R. Carter Fee, Summit Country Day High School (Hamilton County); Jessica Forsythe, John Marshall
School of Civics and Business (Cuyahoga County); Lauren Lautermilch, Summit Country Day (Hamilton
County); Ruku Pal, Summit Country Day (Hamilton County); Jeongwon Ryu, Indian Hill High School
(Hamilton County); Caroline Schuster, Perkins High School (Erie County); Mrinal Singh, Indian Hill
High School (Hamilton County); Alexis Wendt, Louisville High School (Stark County); and Amily
Zhouwang, Talawanda High School (Butler County).
Teachable Moment (cont. from P1)

On Sunday, September 17, featured sessions include:

Representatives from Indiana University Center on Representative Government who will be on hand to show teachers
new and exciting resources to help students understand the role of citizens in our democracy, and how to understand
and interact with Congress.

Professor Marc Spindelman of the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law who will lead a conversation
celebrating the 50th anniversary of the decision in Loving v. Virginia, and its continued legacy in the
landscape of civil rights.

Professor Karen Tollafield of Kent State University who will speak with teachers about opportunities for
inclusion of LGBTQ history and issues into the curriculum, recognizing the contributions and struggles
of an important but underrepresented community.

Danielle Filas, a teacher at Village Academy, who will present on disrupting implicit biases in the classroom,
creating a more open and welcoming environment for all students.

On Monday, September 18:

Xcjio Patricia Rodriguez will deliver the 2017 Keynote Address. Ms. Rodriguez will talk about the work of
her late father, Demetrio Rodriguez, and his lifelong fight for equity in school funding. As the lead plaintiff
in the U.S. Supreme Court case San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, Mr. Rodriguez
sought to bring equity to a school funding system that disproportionately impacted lower income members
of the community.

Suzanne Pfeiffer, OCLRE Board Member, and teacher at Columbus School for Girls, will lead a session
demonstrating Project Citizen and Youth for Justice, two ready-made models that teachers can use to train
students to become agents of change in their community.

Katrice Williams of the ACLU of Ohio will walk teachers through the ACLU Advocacy Kit, a toolkit
that teachers can use with their students to understand the important role that citizens play in advocating
for change.

Representatives from the Miami University Center for Civic Engagement will lead a two-hour workshop on conducting
National Issues Forums in the classroom, a conversation model that encourages focus on collaborative problem solving
rather than the divisiveness that so often accompanies public policy issues.

Professor Nancy Patterson of Bowling Green State University will lead teachers through an exploration of
teacher mindsets around civic participation, and the ways in which a teacher’s conception of their own style
of citizenship can impact their students’ educational outcomes.

We are proud to begin our 35th year with a celebration of the most powerful component of our representative
democracy: the individual citizen. We hope you will join us this year at L&C 2017, and look forward to more
great things to come throughout the program year.

New School, New Students, New Experiences;
Same Love for We the People
by Erin Snowden, teacher at Bellbrook High School

I am a big supporter of the We the People program and believe every school across
America should use it. It ignites a fire in students to be passionate about government,
and importantly, it makes them informed citizens. So much so, I will ensure no
matter school where I work, that school too will offer it. Which brings me full circle
to where I am now.

Last school year was quite the experience with We the People as I started at a new
school, Bellbrook High School. Previously, I taught We the People for seven years
at Northmont High School. This year, we were honored and excited to win the state
competition in the school’s very first showing and represent Ohio at the National
Finals. It’s a testament to the WTP program, and that any teacher with any students
in any school can do this.

I got involved because the department chair at my former school was preparing for retirement and asked me to take over
the program. Glamorous beginnings! At the time, the Center for Civic Education was sponsoring teachers to attend
the National Finals to learn through experienced mentor teachers and watching different teams compete. I’m fortunate
I had the opportunity to take advantage of this experience. Well, I was hooked! Being able to experience the nation’s
capital among students passionate about our government is what we social studies teachers live for! //cont. P7

Thank You, Donors!
The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education is grateful to the following individuals and organizations
for their kind and generous support of our mission to partner with teachers to bring citizenship to life.
Donations listed were given between August 1, 2016 and July 31, 2017. Often, donors recognize teachers
or students who have made a tremendous impact.

Sponsors $500 - $999 $25 - $99
Supreme Court of Ohio Richard A. Dove Laura Jurcevich
Attorney General of Ohio Lisa Eschleman Georgia Lang
Ohio State Bar Association Marion Smithberger
American Civil Liberties Damon & Kate Strickland In-Kind Contributions
Union of Ohio Foundation Columbus State Community College
$300 - $499 John Carroll University
Corporate & Daniel Hilson Ohio Attorney General
Charitable Funders John Quinn Ohio Channel
Ohio State Bar Foundation Ohio State Bar Association
AmazonSmile Foundation $200 - $299 Supreme Court of Ohio
Center for Civic Education Ohio State Bar Association Staff
James Madison Legacy Project
Hubert A. & Gladys C. Estabrook $100 - $199
Charitable Trust Christine Ardley & Douglas Buchanan
Kroger Steven Dauterman For more information on
Staples Foundation Thomas Friedman how your gift will support
TechSoup Tim Kalgreen
John Leavitt, in honor of
OCLRE programs, go
Lisa & Steve Eschleman to the OCLRE website,
$1000 or more
Anonymous Steve Reger, in honor of Danny Strunk Involvement tab and then
Daniel Strunk, in honor of Steve Reger, the Donate tab.
Chuck Reynolds & Dave Prem

Be Our Guest!
Restructuring Our Mentor Program
Attend a culminating event to see
what all the excitement is about.
High School We The People Just call the coordinator for details.
Jordan Masterson, Columbus East
Erin Snowden, Bellbrook High School
Ohio High School
Middle School We The People Mock Trial
Brandi Brown, Columbiana South Side State Competition
Middle School March 8-10
Phil Hammer, Sycamore Jr High School Ryan Suskey
(614) 485-3506
Middle School Mock Trial
Kevin O’Connell, Kenneth Clement
Boys Leadership Academy Middle School
Mock Trial Showcase
April 5, 6, 19, 20
High School Mock Trial Tim Kalgreen
Andy Janig, Reading (614) 485-3515
OCLRE has restructured its High School Project Citizen
Mentor program in an effort to Suzanne Pfeiffer, Columbus School Moot Court Competition
better serve teachers and assist for Girls May 4
with program implementation. Ryan Suskey
(614) 485-3506
This new concept will bring Moot Court
updated and valuable resources for Ricki Schultz, Marysville High School
our teachers.
Middle School
Stay tuned for more information about We the People
Mentors will have an increased our first live Q&A, coming in late State Showcase
role and, in addition to serving October 2017. A Q&A session will May 17
as a contact for teachers new to a be hosted for each program and will Tim Kalgreen
program, will help OCLRE to vet cover common questions on the topic (614) 485-3515
resources, create lesson plans, and of getting started in a new program.
serve as guest presenters for Q&A Unable to tune in live? The session will
sessions throughout the year. be on-demand via our website.

Customized Professional Development
Groups of five or more teachers with at least one OCLRE member can
book a custom PD free at the location of your choosing. PD can be based
on any one of OCLRE’s seven student-centered programs, or on topics
in civic education such as:

• Discussing Controversy in the Classroom
• Incorporating Primary Source Documents
• Inquiry-based Teaching

Contact with questions, or to schedule a PD!

Welcome New
New School (cont. from P5) Team Member!
Cecilia Burford, the newest addition to
I wanted to give my Bellbrook students this same opportunity. So, the OCLRE organization, is a lifetime
this school year, I ran We the People as an enhancement for my AP Ohioan, originating from Logan.
Government class. We the People gives students a chance to see why and Now living in the Worthington Hills
how our Constitution really permeates every aspect of our government. area of Worthington, Ohio with her
The biggest challenge for me was getting my students to understand husband and youngest child, who
what a simulated congressional hearing is; they jumped in and trusted is a junior in high school. Cecilia
has a degree in Voice Performance
my guidance!
from Ohio University in Athens
and has spent the majority of her
work in non-profit, education
related organizations. She also
has three grown children who are
living and working in her favorite
places: Chicago, Burbank and
South Carolina. Cecilia enjoys the
companionship of her two dogs
and two cats, all rescues, all spoiled
(children and pets!).

Favorite food: Cheese enchiladas

Favorite travel destination:
Anywhere with the whole family
except camping; I do not camp!

Favorite law-themed book
or movie: Currently reading
Erin Snowden (far left) and her class at national finals. Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Favorite Ohio Mock Trial witness
Competing at the National Finals was an experience my students and and why: My first is my favorite,
Avery Thompson
I will always treasure and never forget. As a teacher, to be able to see
the excitement of my students for our government and our Constitution I am especially excited to be
was truly indescribable. My students competed against the best students the mock trial and moot court
across the country on their knowledge of the Constitution and were program coordinator because:
judged by esteemed scholars. It was a once in a lifetime experience made
I believe that ‘experiential
even more special by the fact my students were seniors. Every single one
learning’ can leave a profound
of them said that this was an unforgettable experience and they couldn’t mark on every student. To that
have asked for a better way to end their formative schooling. We were end, mock trial and moot court
fortunate we had a very supportive team of administration, parents, and provide students access to what is
the OCLRE. celebrated about the democratic
experiment uniquely found the
In the eight years that I have been with We the People, students have never United States of America. My
said it was anything but the best experience they have had academically. goal, through the organization
No matter where we have placed in the competition, every student I have and my support, is to ensure these
had in this program has walked away with a positive experience, and a experiences serve as part of a
foundation for lifelong learning.
better understanding and desire to be engaged in their government.

For anyone wanting to start a We the People program at their school, I
would recommend reaching out to OCLRE. They are very supportive
and always a fountain of knowledge! Also, don’t be afraid to reach out
to teachers who have done this before, ask questions, and jump in! 7
1700 Lake Shore Drive
Columbus, Ohio 43204
(p) 614.485.3510 • (f) 614.486.6221

Schedule of Events
16 Mock Trial Professional Development 8-10 High School Mock Trial State Competition
(High School & Middle School)
17-18 Law & Citizen Conference APRIL 2018
5-6; 19-20 Middle School Mock Trial State Showcase
10 Youth For Justice Professional Development MAY 2018
20-21 James Madison Legacy Project 4 Moot Court Competition
Fall Professional Development 11 Middle School We The People
State Showcase
NOVEMBER 2017 16 Youth For Justice/Project Citizen
8-9 Constitution Camp (We The People/ Virtual Summit
Moot Court Professional Development)
JUNE 2018
JANUARY 2018 June 1 James Madison Legacy Project
26 High School Mock Trial District Competition Spring Professional Development

2 High School We The People
State Competition Check for more
13-14 Ohio Government In Action program dates, coming soon!
16 High School Mock Trial
Regional Competition