April 17, 2013

SV students sweep court competition

JACKSON TWP — Eight Seneca Valley Intermediate High School students recently participated in the Moot International Criminal Court sponsored by Global Solutions Pittsburgh and the Center for International Legal Education at the University of Pittsburgh.

This year's case centered around two main issues — whether acts of terrorism fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court through Article 7 of the Rome Statute (Crimes Against Humanity) and whether a defendant's removal from the courtroom is a violation of his rights if the trial continues in his absence. Students, working in pairs of two, assumed the role of defense attorneys or prosecuting attorneys to argue their appeals case before a panel of judges in multiple competitive rounds.

The championship round included two teams from the Seneca Valley Intermediate High School. Sophomore Teresa Leatherow and freshman Siona Sharmawalked away with a first place victory, while Amanda Spangler and Sydney Ziatekearned second place.

Senior high school students also made an impressive showing withAlex Taylor and Alex Steighne receiving first place for their written memos. Additionally, Kaleigh Ruiz took first place for her oral arguments during the competition.

Participating schools were from Western Pennsylvania.

According to Daniel Giovannelli, executive director of Global Solutions Pittsburgh, this event is most likely the only high school moot ICC competition offered within the United States, due to the complexity of the legal issues and the difficulty of the case materials.

SV engineering teams do well

JACKSON TWP — Sixteen students from Seneca Valley Intermediate High School participated in the “TEAMS” engineering competition this month, earning the highest scores in school history and winning state and national placements in the junior varsity division.

This team-oriented competition requires students to solve 80 complex science and engineering related problems within 90 minutes, as well as corresponding long form questions in a second 90-minute session. The theme of this year's competition was “Engineering a secure cyber space.” Scores are compared at state and national levels with other competing schools of similar size and enrollment.

The team, which broke previous school scores in addition to its impressive state and national finish, comprises of Tanner Quiggle, Maresa Vaccarello, Cory Nagel, Nick Francino, Michael Kolor, Mitch Lachat, Shane Hepner and Martin Chrzanowski.

The second intermediate high school team also scored impressively, taking fourth in the state, and 20th in the nation, also in the JV division. Students on this team include Cole Davis, Liz Milton, Kobie Rankin, Jack Connors, Matt Corcoran, Jacob Rickabaugh, Jeff Rodrigues and Isaac Daley.