Students were recognized Monday, May 9 for their accomplishments with the Williamson County/YMCA Teen Court. The Recognition and Award Ceremony was held at the Williamson County Cedar Park Annex where each month students gather to learn the roles of the judiciary. As they accomplish the roles of Judge, Prosecuting Attorney, Defense Attorney, Bailiff, Jury Foreman, and Clerk they adjudicate real cases referred from Justice Courts. Each student was recognized for their accomplishments. Senior judges included: Riley Pritzlaff, Bella Fernandez, Conner White, Haeeda Mubashar, Josiah Kiok, and Willow Southworth.
Each year, the Fowler Family Foundation, of the prestigious Fowler Law Firm, P.C. awards a scholarship to the winner of the essay contest. Laura Fowler, manager/partner of the firm, was present along with members of her team to make the presentation. The topic of the essay was “How Has Teen Court Impacted My Life?” The winner of the essay contest this year, was Cedar Park High School Senior, Riley Pritzlaff. Riley has been part of this Teen Court since his freshman year. He accomplished all the roles of the judiciary, including Judge. Riley wrote, “Becoming emersed in one of the most foundational systems in our government has allowed me to develop a respect for our government, a drive to work to improve it, to make it more effective, to preserve the ideals our nation was founded on, and to ensure it acts to benefit all Americans.”
This year the judges of the contest were Constable Jeff Anderson, Commissioner Cynthia Long, and RBank Business Development Officer Barbara Shaffer.
The Williamson County YMCA Teen Court is a partnership between Justice Court Pct 2, Judge Edna Staudt, and the Twin Lakes Family YMCA. Each year the YMCA provides additional staffing and resources for the program. Carley Krischke, a representative from Twin Lakes YMCA, encouraged the students and complimented them on their participation in the program. Justice Court Case Manager, Sharlene Aiken, administers the program and oversees the students and volunteers. Volunteer parents, attorneys, and law enforcement officers were also recognized for their commitment to the program.
The Williamson County/YMCA Teen Court in Cedar Park has recessed for the summer but will reconvene in the fall.
Information about WC/YMCA Teen Court can be found online at Justice Courts Precinct 2 Wilco > Elected Officials > Justice Courts > Precinct Two > Teen Court , email JP2@wilco.org or call 512-260-4210.