We the People wins eighth state championship in 10 years

With another state victory, We the People reinforced their supremacy at the state competition in Kansas for the last decade.

Jack Bensing, Writer

The We the People team secured their eighth state championship in 10 years at the competition at Kansas State University Jan. 27. 

The We the People team participates in an annual competition, in the form of a congressional hearing. In this contest, the students have to present papers they have written about the Constitution and the federal government and then answer questions from a panel of judges.

 Social studies teacher and adviser of We the People Ken Thomas attributes part of their victory at state to several different things.

“I am blessed to teach at Blue Valley Northwest High School and have the caliber of students with the work ethic and the intellectual curiosity,” Thomas said.

Senior Jenna Poppen talked about the group’s performance as a whole and the strength of the group. Specifically, she highlighted the team’s ability to motivate others to put in the hard work that is needed to do well in nationals.

“My group was super strong and we really motivated each other to put in the work,” Poppen said.

The team will compete next at nationals in Washington D.C. April 24-27. During nationals, the team will face a steeper challenge, according to Thomas. The judges will consist of top academics in their respective areas, Thomas said, knowing the topics covered very well.

Prepping for nationals, Thomas said his role is to prepare his students to look professional by the end of the mock hearing. Included in the preparation is being able to think quickly and coming up with clear and concise answers to questions.

“We work on all of those things so that the students look professional when they complete the hearing,” Thomas said.

In the midst of a steep challenge, Thomas said that members of the team have their work cut out for them. Thomas said he has confidence in the team and thinks that the team will rise up to their competition at nationals in April, if their work ethic matches their capabilities.

“[The judges] are pretty solid people who live and breathe this on a daily basis,” Thomas said. “[They] have a passion for this stuff and so I think that these students know that they have work ahead of them and I think they will rise to the occasion.”