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News Lincoln Southeast High School Takes We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution State Title

Lincoln Southeast High School Takes We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution State Title

The 25-member We the People team from Lincoln’s Southeast High School defeated six other teams to be declared the winner in the State Hearings competition on January 5. The event, testing students’ knowledge over six units of study about the United States Constitution, took place at the University of Nebraska College of Law. The competition was judged by local attorneys, professors, secondary educators, journalists, and other professionals in the community.

More than 150 students from six Nebraska schools participated in the event. The Southeast team’s win makes it Nebraska’s official representative in the national finals April 22-25, 2016, at the University of Maryland.

Southeast High team members are Hannah Allgood, Jade Anderson, Kenna Bancroft, Foster Collins, Cooper Creal, Jackson Dettmer, Ella Flamig, Andrew Goldsmith, Thomas Graul, Brianna Griffin, Marco Gutierrez, Morgan Heil, Sean Hollibaugh, Emily Johnson, McKynna Kelly, Brianna Knudson, Tommy Le, Kelsey Linzell, Slate Mathis, Matt, McCoy, Chris Morton, Katie Nimic, Andy Rader, Greta Soloman, and Blake Spiers. Their teacher coach is Zach Wojtowicz .

Taking second place in the competition was Lincoln East High School, the defending state We the People champions. Teacher Kevin Rippee is the team’s coach.

Other teams receiving honorable mention in the finals were Lincoln Southwest High School, coached by teacher Ryan Salem; Holdrege High School, coached by teacher Chad Bailey; V.J. & Angela Skutt High School coached by teacher Mary Meyer, and two Lincoln North Star High School teams coached by teacher Jace Ahlberg.

Susan Poser, Dean of the College of Law, welcomed students at the awards ceremony following the competition. Keynote speaker for the We the People awards ceremony was Judge Laurie Smith Camp, Chief Judge of the Nebraska U.S. District Court. Judge Smith Camp commended the students on their knowledge of the Constitution and encouraged them to use that knowledge to make changes in the United States and the world. She reminded them that significant changes in the world are made by regular, not necessarily gifted, people who are able to use the knowledge and tools they receive from education to address the issues of the day.

We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution is a nationally acclaimed civics program supported by the Center for Civic Education and administered by the Nebraska State Bar Foundation. Participants in the competition present a simulated congressional hearing in which students “testify” before a panel of volunteer judges. Students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles and have opportunities to evaluate, take, and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues. The program aligns with several Nebraska Social Studies Standards.


Law-Related Education