We the People prepares to go to Nationals


Sheridan’s We the People team prepares to go to Washington DC for Nationals on April 26, 2018. (Photo courtesy Michael Thomas)

  We The People was developed to commemorate the growth of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and how it has progressed in order to rebuild education programs in the school systems of America. This program represents the combined effort of a nationwide network of educators, civic leaders, the business community, and U.S. state legislators.

  So far, the Sheridan High School’s We The People team has come very far since the beginning of the season. They got third place in regionals and were excited to move on to state in Casper where four hundred students and twenty teachers participated in the competition.

  State competition was incredibly important to win for the team. At the state competition, panelists selected one of the remaining two questions that were not asked at districts. The panel members were legal scholars, professors, attorneys, judges, and teachers, among other professions. The students get four minutes to prepare their statement and then six minutes of answering questions about the top. This structure is designed to gauge students’ knowledge of the material. Sheridan’s team placed first in state and are moving on to nationals in Washington D.C., which takes place on April 26 to May first.

     Preparing for nationals takes an immense amount of dedication and hard work from the members. Each unit in We The People is assigned a topic and  have to respond to three prompts. Topics for the competition range from the philosophical building blocks of American politics to 21st-century challenges to American democracy. The units are divided up into categories such as the right of speech, a more historical based unit on federalists vs anti-federalist, and migration.

  Before state, the students had to work hard on both their prepared statements and their ability to field rigorous questions from the panel of judges. The students worked overtime and received help from SHS seniors who had competed in the program the year before. Now they will have to work extra hard and study twice as much to prepare for Nationals.

  “After many months of revision and studying, we will head off to Washington DC to compete,” said junior Ashley Thompson. “When competing, we try to have a civilized conversation about the topics as if we were having coffee with the judges rather than just spitting out information.”