Reno High School’s “We the People” Team Places First in the State: RHS students will represent Nevada in national competition

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Victoria Campbell
775.333.3789
775.772.2907
vcampbell@washoeschools.net

 

Reno High School’s “We the People”
Team Places First in the State

RHS students will represent Nevada in national competition

Reno, NV (February 13, 2024) – Reno High School’s “We the People” team took first place in the state competition and will compete in the national competition in Leesburg, Virginia in April. Incline High School’s team placed second in the state competition.

Teams from Reed High School, Galena High School, and McQueen High School were also recognized for their presentations in the state competition and took home prizes in the categories of Most Effective Unit and Unit Excellence. 

We the People is a rigorous course of study where students learn the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are essential to becoming an effective citizen. After months of study and preparation, participants compete in mock Congressional hearings and testify before judging panels that include scholars, educators, judges and justices, state lawmakers, attorneys, and state and local officials. The class demands perseverance, trust, and integrity. Students work closely together as a team, and each plays an important role in the presentations. During the prestigious national civics competition, students testify as expert witnesses before panels of judges to present and debate their positions on questions surrounding the U.S. Constitution.

“I am so proud of this group of students,” said Richard Clark, a social studies teacher at Reno High School who coaches the We the People Team. “They have worked diligently to reach their goal of competing at the National Finals. Winning five unit awards was a testament to their effort and teamwork.”

“We the People is one of the most rigorous co-curricular programs we offer as a school,” said Reno High School Principal Kris Hackbusch. “It is also one of the most fulfilling and life changing educational programs in existence. Our unit coaches, under the leadership of Mr. Richard Clark, have spent months developing this special group of dedicated students into Constitutional scholars ready to compete at a national level. It gives us hope that our future is in good hands when we listen to these students!”

During the National Finals, each hearing begins with a four-minute opening statement by students and is followed by an eight-minute period of follow-up questioning. Judges explore students' depth of knowledge, understanding, and their ability to apply constitutional principles. The format provides students an excellent opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of Constitutional principles while providing the 72 judges with an excellent means of assessing students' knowledge and application to historical and current Constitutional issues.

Some questions students will discuss as part of this year’s competition are:

  • What was the impact of early experiments with representative democracy, such as colonial assemblies and town meetings, on the development of the American political system
  • How does the tension between protecting individual rights and promoting the common good manifest in the structure and language of the Constitution?
  • Why did Thomas Jefferson use the phrase “Revolution of 1800” to describe that year’s presidential election? What aspects of the election and its aftermath led to its characterization as a “revolution,” and how did it signify a transformative moment in American politics?
  • How has civil disobedience evolved in American history in terms of its nature, methods, and motivations, and what are some historical examples of these changes?

The Washoe County School District celebrates a long tradition of achievement and excellence in local, state, and national We the People competitions. Last year, We the People teams from Reno High School and Reed High School placed first in their respective divisions during the national competition in Virginia. 

In 2023, Reno High School received the Division Award for Division C and placed 14th overall in the nation, while Reed High School received the Division Award for Division D and placed 16th overall. 

 

Reno HS We the People 2024

 

Incline HS WTP

 

 

 

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Washoe County School District’s promise is to know every student by name, strength and need so they graduate prepared for the future they choose, and we will deliver on this promise in partnership with our families and community.

 

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