BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s not every day that high school students get to to hear from a sitting Ohio Supreme Court Justice and ask her questions.
But on Wednesday, students got that opportunity when Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith French visited Boardman High School to discuss the Ohio judicial system.
Justice French grew up in Sebring, the daughter of a schoolteacher, and said she is committed to being a part of civic education in Ohio. As a justice, she speaks frequently to students from around Ohio.
School districts across the Mahoning Valley attended, including Boardman, Beaver Local, Campbell, East Palestine, Jackson-Milton, Struthers, Sebring, Western Reserve, Windham and Youngstown. Also included in the group were 50 students from Austintown Fitch High School, who were actually on spring break this week but didn’t want to pass up the opportunity.
The districts sent their students from AP Government classes, U.S. History, and College Credit Plus — some of the best and brightest students who have an interest in government and the court system.
“We sit in a classroom, and we learn about these things, and it’s another situation to get to come here and listen to somebody who’s actually making big decisions for the State of Ohio talk to us,” said student Isabella Caruso.
Justice French met with a smaller group of Boardman students during a government class at 9:30 a.m. and then addressed the multi-school group at the Boardman Performing Arts Center at 10 a.m.
Justice French said her favorite part of school visits is the question-and-answer session.
“I look forward to hearing what students are curious about. I’m happy to share my experiences coming from a small town in Ohio, and what I’ve learned from the many positions I’ve held along the way,” she said.
Some of those in attendance were students on Struthers’ Mock Trial team, which went to the state competition this year for the first time. One student asked Justice French how closely her team’s activities resembled real life.
“I think her response was really good. She said there was a few similarities and differences, but it gave you an overall view of how it actually is in the courts,” said Nia Daltorio.