By Erin Roetker
Saturday, January 7th was an important day for Mrs. Haberl’s sixth period AP Government and Politics class. Winning fourth place at the We the People competition could be considered an accomplished day.
The competition took place in Olympia, Washington. Participants of the competition held a simulated Congressional hearing, which was a rigorous task. Teams worked together to prepare four-minute speechs to present to judges who were acting as congressional committee members. Students then answered any questions that the judges may have had, which provides an opportunity for students to display their knowledge of constitutional principles.
“Overall, We the People was worth it. We learned more about local and federal government and increased our knowledge about presidential administrations,” senior Liz Pring said.
The trip went beyond just the competition itself. While in Olympia the students got to tour the capital and even got to go on to the senate floor. “Overall, the experience was good because, besides the competition, we got to tour the building and learned all about it,” said competitor Andrew Trong. According to the students the capital was extremely impressive. Pring said, “The chandeliers were imported from Europe, the marble was from France, Italy and Belgium, and the crystals in the light fixtures were designed by Charles Lewis Tiffany, the founder of Tiffany & Co.” A group of students even had the honor of our governor, Christine Gregoire walking past them in the capital building.
The competition lasted the entire day Saturday and was exhausting. It consisted of strenuous hours of preparation, but the competition paid off for them as it was the first time for Heritage to place fourth. “I feel so proud of our class because that is the highest Heritage has ever placed. Plus unit five [from Heritage] beat Tahoma’s unit five, who is going to nationals because they placed first overall,” Pring explained. Teacher and coach Mrs. Haberl was more than impressed with her class. “While in the restroom, I over heard some students from another school saying how great Heritage kids were – no prompting and they did not know I was there. I was proud.” Haberl said.
Great job AP Government and Politics students for your high achievements at We the People. It is an honor to place so high in any given competition, but particularly one that requires such rigor.