Forest Hills Students Visit First District

Forest Hills Students Visit First District Court of Appeals

On November 13, 2023, the First District welcomed 20 students from both Anderson and Turpin High Schools to observe oral arguments. The field trip experience was organized by the Community Partnership Specialist for Forest Hills School District, Melanie Hartong, and Forest Hills parent and local attorney, Jeffrey Nye. Ms. Hartong and the Community Partnership Program support students at both Anderson and Turpin by providing opportunities for them to build career awareness and employability skills. Students in attendance were selected by completing a Community Partnership Program application indicating a career interest in the legal field and by using data from career-planning tools utilized by the school district.

The students heard arguments in three cases before a three-judge panel consisting of Presiding Judge Marilyn Zayas, Judge Ginger Bock, and Judge Jennifer Kinsley. Jeffrey Nye came to both Anderson and Turpin High Schools ahead of the field trip to brief students about each of the cases and accompanied them in the courtroom on the day of oral arguments. At the conclusion of arguments, students were given a tour of the Court’s offices and then had lunch in the Court’s new training room. At lunch, students were given the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session with Judge Zayas, Judge Bock, and Judge Kinsley. It was an exciting and educational experience for all!

When asked about the experience Melanie Hartong said, “I am so thankful for the partnership that has been created between Forest Hills School District and the First District Court of Appeals. The Court welcomed our students and provided a rich learning opportunity for these high schoolers who have identified career interests within the legal realm. The judges took time out of their day to give our students a complete tour of the courthouse, and an opportunity to engage in a question-and-answer session over lunch. This authentic learning experience is sure to stick with our students for a long time; having a positive impact on their future.”