‘We the People’ competition harder this year

(Courtesy photo)

Bringing home this year’s state “We the People” championship was harder this year than in years past.

Michael Thomas, who’s sponsor of the Sheridan High School We the People team, said there were a couple of reasons for that.

The second reason this year was harder, he said, is because the state competitions were held six weeks earlier – in mid-December rather than in January as in years past.

In spite of the hardships, though, the 24 members of this year’s Sheridan High School We the People team – all students in Thomas’ Advanced Placement U.S. Government class – came through with state championship honors.

Competition was via Zoom rather than directly face-to-face with judges, but Thomas said the Sheridan High School team rose to the occasion.

In a normal year, the state win would mean the students would go to Washington D.C. for national competition next year, but with COVID-19, Thomas said that’s still up in the air at this time. He said some other states haven’t yet completed their state We the People competitions, so he doesn’t expect to hear about the national competition until all the states are finished.

Thomas said he also doesn’t know at this time whether the national competition will be in-person or virtual.

We the People was created by the U.S. Congress in 1987 to boost civic education throughout the country. That was the 200th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution.

Thomas said the intent of the program was to increase knowledge of government among U.S. citizens. He said competing in We the People requires an in-depth study of the Constitution.

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