We the People

Jackson attorney and municipal court judge Melissa Owens, left, leads a discussion with Jackson Hole High School seniors Regan Meyring, Bethanie Hart, Laura McLennan and Stormy Dawson as part of the We the People program in 2016. This year’s We The People team has qualified for the state finals, to be held Monday in Cheyenne.

A squad of Jackson Hole High School students is riding its knowledge of American politics on a trip to Wyoming’s capital.

Jackson’s We The People team, which grew out of teacher Jim Rooks’ government class, qualified for the state finals of the civics contest, which take place Monday in Cheyenne.

The competition puts students in mock congressional hearings where they must demonstrate their knowledge of particular topics. Leading up to the competition, students studied the Constitution, then dove into their topic.

A press release from Matt Strannigan, an administrator of the program at the state level, said the students had to study for months to prepare for their roles as “experts testifying on selected constitutional issues.”

To qualify for state finals, the We The People team traveled to the Dec. 16 district tournament in Casper. Seventeen schools and over 400 students attended the district competition.

Six schools qualified for the state finals based on their performances. In addition to Jackson Hole High School, Kelly Walsh, Cheyenne East, Green River, Laramie and Sheridan will send students to the contest Monday in Cheyenne.

For a couple of the schools, the road won’t end there. The top two schools from the state finals will be invited to represent Wyoming at the national We The People competition April 24-27 in Washington, D.C.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or thallberg@jhnewsandguide.com.

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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