Article by Phoenix writer Cristina Palmieri ’25:
The Latin School Mock Trial team witnessed Congressman Tom Suozzi present Corporal Chris Levi with the Purple Heart Medal on December 3 at the North Shore Historical Courthouse.
The Purple Heart is a prestigious award given to American soldiers who have been injured or killed by an enemy of the United States. Corporal Chris Levi, a Melville resident unfortunately lost both of his legs in an IED explosion while serving in Iraq in 2008. He was left hospitalized for two years, undergoing over a hundred surgeries.
Congressman Suozzi is closing out his six years in Congress honoring one of Long Island’s own heroes. Corporal Levi was offered the Purple Heart while hospitalized, however wished to wait until his entire platoon returned home. Finally after several difficulties, Corporal Levi has received this well-deserved honor.
The team was fortunate enough to be included in the event following their scripted competition with Judge Timothy Driscoll. Mr. Cartier believes the Latin Schoolers really got a lot out of the event, as they were incorporated and taught more about the ceremony. “The opportunity to conduct a scripted trial before Justice Driscoll in the Historical North Shore Courthouse and be invited to attend the purple heart ceremony for former Army Corporal Chris Levi was amazing,” he said. “The Latin School Mock Trial Team learned a great deal, and it was a special day to honor Mr. Levi and remember all those who have sacrificed for our country.” This was an incredible experience for the team to witness a hero being bestowed such an honor.
On the high school level, Kellenberg’s mock trial team also had a great experience. On November 30, 2022, the team competed in the Wheatley Invitational Competition.
The competition covered a case centered around an alleged hit-and-run.
Every member of the team put in a great effort, giving lots of time and energy into preparing for the trials.
The defense team won a close match against Wheatley High School with seniors Lynn Frederick, Celeste Roccanova and Livia Cigliano and junior John Crowe as the attorneys. The witnesses were freshmen Anthony Custodio-Pena, Monica Arreaga-Cacao, and Zachary Madison.
Kellenberg won one round of the competition, coming very close in the second round. Throughout the competition, they went up against teams from the Wheatley, Syosset, Roslyn, North Shore, and Manhasset high schools.