Iowa is new to high school mediation tournaments, but Central Academy students knew just what to do when they started competing here at home and at the national tournament.

Central Academy and Roosevelt High School student Kathleen Loder is the new 2022 National High School Mediation Champion as mediator. Esra Noor and Fardowsa Mohamed placed 3rd as the advocate/client pair. (Pictured L to R: Ersa Noor, Kathleen Loder, Fardowsa Mohamed.)

Dr. Jessica Gogerty, Director of Advanced Learning, said Central Academy sent seven students to the National Mediation Tournament after two teams won the Iowa tournament.

  • Team 1: Dairen Castro, Fardowsa Mohamed, and Esra Noor (Roosevelt) coached by local attorney and experienced mediator, Kaitlyn Dudding
  • Team 2: Hannah Hayes, Trey Jackson, and Kathleen Loder (Roosevelt), coached by Roosevelt teacher and trained mediator, Abra Nichols.
  • All-around go-to Lizzea Wright (North) also filled out several teams at the National competition. She was coached by David Goldman, local retired mediator.

Dr. Gogerty said Central Academy also did very well in the first-in-Iowa High School Mediation Tournament.

The top team was:  Esra Noor, Dairen Castro, and Fardowsa Mohamed (Roosevelt).  Fardowsa was the top student, winning every round she competed in.

The second-place team was: Hannah Hayes, Trey Jackson, and Kathleen Loder (Roosevelt).

Students had several community partners helping all of the teams. Most are practicing mediators or lawyers.

“We also had the top college mediation team in the nation zoom in to conference with each team as they prepared,” Dr. Gogerty said. “The man who invented the Mock Trial Tournament and the Mediation Tournament, Dick Calkins, 91, a former Dean of the Drake Law School trained our students and helped us make the connections to get our tournament off the ground.”

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