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■ Keaton Riley

Grade: Sophomore.

Age: 15.

Art focus: Brainerd High School (BHS) mock trial.

Adviser nomination: “Keaton is in his second year as a lawyer on the mock trial team. His work is vital to our team’s success. He expertly questions the expert witnesses. His closing argument for the defense is a skillfully crafted story that is incredibly persuasive and filled with metaphors. He is a joy to watch.”

Artist most admired: Beethoven.

Memorable fine arts achievement: “I took first place in my first debate meet in seventh grade. It’s the most memorable because I was so nervous and was surprised I won. It was in Lincoln-Douglas.”

Other fine art activities: Debate, Knowledge Bowl and Bards.

Why do you play the lawyer: “I like to play the lawyer because it’s fun. I get to be the one who is telling the story and I get the witnesses to tell their story and you’re directing it. In addition, when they object I have to think fast to answer their questions, like I do in debate and I like that.”

Best strategy: “Is just to relax because if you’re nervous it creeps up on you. You have to overcome it and focus on what’s going on.”

How do you persuade the judges: “In my closing speech I use a lot of metaphors relating to a ship, like telling the prosecutor that his case is like a sinking ship because my client is not guilty ... Or I say their rudder is broken because one of their investigations was incomplete.”

Favorite movies: “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Star Wars IV: The New Hope.”

Favorite lawyer TV show: “The original ‘Law and Order.’”

Favorite book: “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh.”

Favorite band: Queen.

How many songs on your iPod: “I don’t use it. I like to go on Pandora.”

Best soft drink: Vanilla Coke.

Parents: Ken and Janelle Riley of East Gull Lake.

Honorable mention: Gabrielle Peterson, junior, art: “Gabrielle has a wonderful eye for design in Artist Books. Her books reflect a strong attention to detail with creative flourish. Gabi also captures the viewer through her written words. Her fun, but yet serious side, is reflected within every page.”

— Compiled by Jennifer Stockinger, Staff Writer. Follow me on Twitter at

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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