The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

We the People: The Ins and Outs

We The People takes first place in competition.

We the People, led by history teacher Mrs. Biomann-Hennies, has begun. They held their first meeting at the start of school. The class takes place every day during the 6th period. 

We the People is a class available to high school seniors that involves interactive strategies, relevant, current events, and a simulated congressional hearing. It focuses on the history and application of the US Constitution. This class makes teaching and learning exciting for students and teachers. 

This program allows students to compete with other schools by “testifying” before a panel of judges to defend their cause. Each school is given a certain issue or debate and must justify its stance on the subject. They are given 4 minutes to present their argument. Students are then asked follow-up questions concerning their answers. 

The course uses the competition format, simulated congressional hearings, as the final assessment for students rather than a test. This allows students to express themselves during the class. Biomann-Hennies stated, “My favorite part about teaching We the People is seeing students grow in their understanding of the US Constitution and Government. It’s exciting to see students become passionate about subjects that are relevant to our lives today!” 

The class includes two formal competitions each year. The first is the Kentucky state competition which is held in January. If the team wins the state competition, they will participate in the National competition in April. This meeting takes place in Washington, DC. They hold several practice congressional hearings yearly to prepare for each competition.

At the state meetings, students are given questions, and then follow-up questions. Some of the possible questions at the state meeting could include, “Alexander Hamilton observed that ‘ambition, avarice, personal animosity, party opposition, and many other motives not more laudable than these, are apt to operate as well upon those who support as those who oppose the right side of a question.’ Does Hamilton’s observation challenge the effective expression of popular sovereignty? How do our institutions of representation, such as legislatures, strengthen or weaken popular sovereignty? What actions, if any, could citizens take if the government were not responsive to the will of the people?” 

The WTP program began at Highlands in the early 2000s; since the origins of the program, “Highlands has won the state competition 20 times, 19 of which have been in a row,” stated  Biomann-Hennies. She also tells us at the national competition, Highlands always excels, winning multiple awards at the competition.  

This class gives students the opportunity to improve their public speaking and quick knowledge skills. This year, in order to receive the AP credit for this class, students must take the AP government exam at the end of the year. This was not previously required but it now provides students with another AP class option. 

Students enjoy this class every year due to its ability to prepare them for their future. The class works super hard to achieve its goal. Wish this year’s class good luck as they hope to win their 20th consecutive state win.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

All The Hilltopper Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.