By Hannah Bolandian ’19

A group of four sits in front of a panel of judges.They answer questions that determine their fate going forward. Staples High School students competed in the We The People competition and were awarded the “wildcard” to move onto the national competition.

In December, the class participated in the state-wide competition where students were asked to share their prepared responses as well as answer open ended questions with notes based on topics they had been preparing. There were six different groups from Staples and each group focused on a different unit. Staples placed in second behind Trumbull. The first place team automatically goes to Nationals in Washington D.C., and the Civic Center rewards other teams with a wildcard for the opportunity to move on as well. Staples was a recipient of the wildcard for the second year in a row.

“We were not expecting to receive the wildcard at all,” Isabel Handa ’19 said, “but, Ms. Kammerman received an email in mid February [saying] that we did indeed get it.”

The We The People class will be traveling to Washington D.C. for five days, April 27-May 1, to compete against over 50 other high schools from towns across the nation.

“For the national competition, the class is preparing responses to questions regarding conditional and political topics,” Martin Menz ’19 said, “and also studying to be able to answer open ended questions that we won’t know until the day of the competition.”

The decision of what teams deserve and receive the limited number of wildcards is based off of presentation and success at the statewide competition. Coming in second place put Staples in the eyes of the Civic Center and bettered their chances at getting the opportunity to go to Nationals.

“When we got the wildcard I remember hugging my group mates and feeling so overwhelmed with happiness and excitement,” Handa said. “We are all so excited to spend almost a week together in D.C.”

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