Friday, May 23, 2008

Clayton State University Graduate Student Coaches Mock Trial Team to Second National Championship

Clayton State graduate student Anna Cox recently helped to coach the Jonesboro High School (JHS) mock trial team to its second consecutive national championship.

In competition held in Wilmington, Del., and hosted by the Delaware Supreme Court (who also served as the presiding judges for the final round), the JHS team defeated a team from Kalamazoo High School (Kalamazoo, Mi.) in what Cox says was, “the most amazing final round I have ever seen. It was perfection!”

“This is an immense feat, because we had two completely different teams each year,” she adds in regard to JHS’s back-to-back national titles. “In the words of our state committee, [we] `steamrolled’ the competition.

“We have a fantastic, diverse group of students from a public school who beat out private and charter school students. We have a great support system from our legal community and the judges and lawyers that help coach the team.”

Cox, a resident of Jonesboro, teaches Latin at the regular and honors levels at JHS. She has been helping to coach the mock trial team for the last three years. Her husband and fellow JHS teacher (chemistry), Andrew Cox, also coaches the team. Anna Cox also credits the Honorable John C. Carbo, state court judge; the Honorable Deborah Benefield, superior court judge; Tasha Mosley, esq., assistant solicitor of Henry County; and Katie Powers for their help.

The winning case for JHS involved Delaware Auto and Marine (DAM), a publicly-traded company with a low stock market price.

“Because they think they are ripe for a hostile take over, they enact a poison pill in order to discourage Mid-East Stevedores Services, Inc., a company held by a fictitious Arab nation,” explains Cox. “DAM must prove that it is acting in the good faith of its shareholders and that MESS is a company that has material ties to terrorism. MESS must prove that DAM is acting in bad faith and not in the good interest of its shareholders.

“The kids can now say that they have tried a case in front of the Supreme Court.”

Members of the JHS mock trail team included; Laura Parkhouse, Joe Strickland, Dominique Delgado, Jurod James, Brian Bady, Ralph Wilson, Avion Jackson, Miguelande Charlestin, Kayla Daniels, Lindsay Hargis, Braeden Orr, Bridget Harris, Jayda Hazell, Adrienne Marshall, and Tabias Kelly.

Aside from coaching the mock trial team, Cox is an advisor for the Latin club, prom committee, and student council for JHS. She is also a student in Clayton State’s Masters of Liberal Arts program and plans to graduate this fall with the first masters degree ever awarded by the University.

Cox is the daughter of Larry Wiley, a Clayton State Communications instructor. Like his daughter, Wiley worked for the Clayton County School System for many years before retiring. He has taught at Clayton State part-time for more then 25 years.

The Clayton County Board of Commissioners, Clayton County Public Schools, and Jonesboro High School will be hosting a parade this weekend honoring the national champions. The parade through the city of Jonesboro will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 24 and will depart from the Jonesboro Historical Courthouse at 121 S. McDonough St.; turn right on South Main Street and conclude at Jonesboro High School, located at 7728 Mt Zion Blvd.
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