News and Events

Kalamazoo Central Mock Trial team places first in regionals, qualifies for state tournament

03 March, 2013

 Kalamazoo Central High School's mock trial team placed first in regional competition Saturday and has qualified for the state tournament on March 23 in Lansing. K-Central placed first in all three rounds of competition. Forest Hills Northern was second and St. Joseph High School was third. Saturday's competition was held at the Kent County Courthouse in Grand Rapids.


Howell students take first-place state Constitutional honors

14 January, 2013


By Wayne Peal


Anyone looking for an interpretation of U.S. Constitution would do to call Howell High School.

The school’s We the People team –– 29 students well-versed in Constitutional law –– just earned first place honors in this year’s state finals, held Friday in Lansing.

“This was the fist time we’ve won,” said teacher Mark Oglesby who has coached the school’s student competitors for 11 years.

Team members are now eligible to compete in the national We the People finals, to be held April 26-29 on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. as well as in select Captiol Hill meeting rooms.Competitions are formatted like Congressional hearings.


During Friday’s state finals, students had to make oral presentations in six different units on six distinct areas of the Constitution and were scored on how well they expressed themselves.

“We were definitely nervous, but we had worked hard to get ready,” said team member Megan Isom, a senior who took part in a discussion of equal protection under the law.

“It covered civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights and all kinds of other topics,” Oglesby said. “Everyone on every unit had to contribute.”

Each unit received its own score, which was compiled into the team score. The overall margin was narrow, just 1,004-1,002 over the team from East Grand Rapids.

The win, Oglesby said, came after a recent series of second place finishes, including one by a mere four points in 2010.

“It was nerve wracking, but when it was over it was just amazing,” said senior Ben Schultz. “We had really good team chemistry and that helped.”

Event judges included state Rep. Cindy Denby, R-Handy Township and former Livingston County Prosecutor David Morse.

Morse said he was particular impressed with the Howell team’s presentation on compromise under the Constitution, a much discussed topic these days. “I’ve been a judge for five years, and I can tell you theirs was the best presentation I’d ever seen,” Morse said.

In addition to capturing overall first place honors, the Howell team also captured the units equal protection and governmental compromise.

“By this year’s draw, Unit 3 (the equal protection unit) went first and they really rocked it,” Oglesby said. “They got us off to a great start.”

We the People competitions are conducted in 45 states, as well as the District of Columbia.

The We The People program is sponsored by the Center for Civic Education, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established through the State Bar of California to promote democratic ideals in the U.S. and abroad.








David Britten, Detroit Northwestern High School, awarded 2012 Michigan Civic EducationTeacher of the Year

03 November, 2012

David Britten, a social studies teacher at Northwestern High School, Detroit Public Schools, was named the Michigan Civic Education Teacher of the Year.  The award was presented by David Hales, Social Studies Consultant, Wayne RESA, and Board Member of the Michigan Center for Civic Education. The award was presented at the Joint Social Studies Conference co- sponsored by the Michigan Center for Civic Education. 

The selection of teacher of the year is based on the following criteria:

1-Excellence in the instruction of civic and law-related education  
2-Involvement of students in civic and law-related education programs which give students the opportunity to practice the skills of citizenship
3-Leadership in the teaching profession by promoting civic education


MGTV Michigan Mock Election Tradition continues…

10 October, 2012

Three Year Grant by the U.S Election Assistance Commission (EAC) helps underwrite student participation in the ‘2012 MGTV Michigan Mock Election’ across the state.

Michigan Government Television (MGTV) is coordinating the ‘MGTV Michigan Mock Election Project’ again this year, which culminates in online voting by K-12 students in a statewide mock election at the end of October.  There is no cost to schools to vote in the mock election and teachers are encouraged to use MGTV’s online curriculum and archived videos, along with election-related programming airing on the MGTV cable network. Students will be casting their votes for President, U.S. Senate and Congress; Michigan House of Representatives and Supreme Court; and six statewide ballot proposals.  Michigan results for the national races will be compiled with all 50 states, through a partnership with My Voice National Student Mock Election, the largest mock election in the country.  Voting begins online on October 22nd and ends on November 1st. 

On November 2nd, national results will be available on their website 

and Michigan results on MGTV’s website


Don Fulkerson Recognized for Service to Civic Education

03 October, 2012

Don Fulkerson, a civil, appellate, and trial court practitioner in Westland, Michigan received a legislative tribute in Lansing before a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Michigan Center for Civic Education (MCCE).


Registration is now open for the 2014 Michigan High School Mock Trial Tournament.

01 October, 2012


This year's case is a criminal case surrounding the disappearance and alleged murder of a high-school student:

Following Superior High School's Senior Prom, "Sam" Seaside held a party while his/her parents were out of town. Among other things, when Sam's parents returned, Mr. Seaside found that his gun was missing. The following weekend, Sam snuck out of the house to attend a pre-graduation party with some friends. Some of the other students who attended the party saw Sam arguing with his longtime friend "Nicki" Shore. Sometime later, Sam and Nicki left the party in Nicki's car with "Jo" Turner, Nicki's love interest. Nicki never returned home, but his/her car was found in the parking lot near the playground at a local park that Sunday. In the car, police found a bullet, and crime-lab analysis revealed that there were blood stains on the passenger-side interior. After interviewing the available witnesses and conducting extensive forensic analysis, police arrested and charged Sam Seaside for the murder of Nicki Shore. Nicki's body was never found.



Registration is now open for the 2013 Michigan High School Mock Trial Tournament.

01 October, 2012


This year's case is a civil case surrounding the alleged defamation of a mock-trial participant. The plaintiff, a member of an up-and-coming high-school mock-trial team, alleges that the defendant, a rival school, made defamatory statements about the plaintiff in the defendant's online newspaper. In the article, the deputy student editor of the school's magazine alleged that the plaintiff appeared to be texting his coach during the final round of the competition. According to the article, the plaintiff's closing argument was unusually effective, and a review of the score sheets shows that the closing argument made the difference. The defendant has denied the allegations and is asserting that the newspaper article is true. As a result of the claimed cheating, the plaintiff lost her scholarship with a prestigious university


Joint Conference Registration is Now Open

28 September, 2012

In 2012, MCCE is partnering with the Michigan Council for Social Studies, Michigan Council on Economic Education, the Michigan Council for History Education, and the Michigan Geographic Alliance on a Joint Social Studies Conference—Working Together.


Michigan Center for Civic Education Names New Board Members

01 August, 2012

The Michigan Center for Civic Education is pleased to announce the appointment of five new Board Members. 

“We at MCCE are excited about expanding our services to educate and engage more students to be effective citizens through civic and law-related education” said Linda Start, Executive Director of the Michigan Center for Civic Education.  “This addition completes a key task that our Board laid out as we embark on a new path forward”.

MCCE thanks the Michigan State Bar Foundation for providing funding to develop a new roadmap which will enable MCCE to expand outreach and services.


Civics/Government/Law Presenters Sought for Joint Conference

25 July, 2012

The 2012 Joint Social Studies Conference has been scheduled for Friday and Saturday, November 2-3, at the John Lewis Student Community Center at Macomb Community College in Warren.


MCCE’s Resources, Programs, & Lessons

Educating for Citizenship

Educating for Citizenship is a conference for educators and community members that highlights best practices in law-related and civic education in Michigan and nationally.

Civic Education Teacher of the Year Award

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Mock Trial

A Mock Trial is designed to reenact much of what might take place in a trial court.  Students take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses and compete against each other in real courtrooms in front of real judges and lawyers.

"[A] unique opportunity for young people to learn about the legal system..."

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