Update: West AND East High School's We the People teams headed to National Finals
Monday, September 21, 2020
(Pictured: Wauwatosa West's We the People team after taking first place in the State Finals)
Wauwatosa West High School and Wauwatosa East High School students are headed to Washington D.C. to compete in the 31st Annual We the People: The Citizen and Constitution National Finals. The competition will be held at the National Conference Center in Washington D.C., April 27- May 1, 2018.
West's team earned its 11th consecutive trip to the National Finals after it took first place at the state competition in Madison on January 6, 2018. East's team took a close second at the State Finals and on Thursday, January 11, found out they'd been selected as one of about a dozen "wild card" teams to compete in the National Finals. East has competed nationally 2 out of the past 3 years.
"Chad (Mateske) has a top-notch program at Wauwatosa West, with so many things in place and they are a high caliber team. We always hope for the best but realize we are going up against a nationally recognized team," explained Dan McHugh, East High School's We the People coach and teacher. " We lost the State Finals by 28 points so finding out about the wild card was awesome because the kids worked so hard and I wanted them to have this experience."
(Pictured: East's We the People Team at the State Finals)
Over 1,200 high students from 56 classes from across the nation will compete in the National Finals, showcasing their comprehensive understanding of the U.S. government and the Constitution. Students will participate in simulated congressional hearings with the top-ten final round hearings held in hearing rooms on Capitol Hill.
“Since this summer, our students have spent countless hours in our classroom as well as meeting with our group mentors during their free time to gain a firm grasp of the foundation of our government and its modern applications including major case law (historic and present),” said Chad Mateske, a Wauwatosa West social studies teacher who oversees the group. “The understanding these students have about our Constitution and government is beyond impressive. They are certain to be leaders in their occupations and their communities.”
(Pictured: Unit 4 of West's We the People Team)
The program promotes civic competence and responsibility among the nation’s upper elementary and secondary students. The culminating activity for students in the program is the state competition - a simulated congressional hearing where students “testify” before a panel of judges acting as members of Congress. Students prepare to present on any two of three different in-depth set of questions about history, the constitution, rights, and current events. They also must anticipate and prepare for follow-up questions from the judges in a cross-examination of sorts.
Both teams will now prepare for a new round of 18 questions for the national competition and representing the state of Wisconsin. Additionally, they'll be focused on fundraising nearly $70,000 for each team to cover as much of the trip cost as possible for the teams and their teaching assistants.
If you are interested in supporting the team’s fundraising efforts for their national competition and have additional questions, please contact:
West High School:
East High School:
Since it was founded in 1987, more than 28 million students and 75,000 educators have participated in the We the People program. To learn more about the program, click HERE.