For the first time in the Pleasanton Unified School District (PUSD) history, both Amador Valley High School and Foothill High School competitive civics teams will represent California at the We the People National Finals in Washington D.C. At the We the People State Competition held on February 1-2, 2018 in Bakersfield, California, Amador Valley High School’s team finished in first place and Foothill’s team earned second place.
As the first place team, Amador Valley High School earns a spot at the National Competition. On Friday, February 9, Foothill High School’s competitive civics team was announced as the ‘wild card’ selection, also earning a spot to compete at Nationals.
We the People is a competitive civics program sponsored by the Center for Civic Education. Students’ knowledge of the Constitution, the founding of our country, and the evolution of American government is tested in simulated congressional hearings that foster critical thinking and creativity.
Amador and Foothill teams’ finishes were a culmination of thousands of hours of preparation and rehearsal from student team members and teachers.
Amador Valley competitive civics coach Stacey Sklar said, "The team worked extraordinarily hard this year and did an excellent job in the face of some very tough competition. California has a relatively strong program, so to earn a spot a Nationals is truly an accomplishment."
Led by teacher Jeremy Detamore, Foothill High’s competitive civics team placed only four points behind Amador. “This is a tremendous group of students who have given their all since day one. I'm proud of all they have accomplished and feel very lucky to have gone on this journey with them,” said Detamore. “They've set a high bar for future Foothill We the People classes to meet.”
Foothill High School’s competitive civics team includes: Max Moeller, Charlie Das, Jessica Maloney, Malini Manimaran, Julia Tolari, Nathan Daniel, William Rose, Yuna Jeong, Omar Qureshi, Arman Abrishamchian, Rithu Gurazada, Sanjana Singh, Eleanor Savas, Deema Afana, Emily McElroy, Lauren Dennen, Nina Paranjpe, Ashley Johnson, Avni Patel, Maggie Wade, Anirudh Rengarajan, Will Carlson, Leland Zhang, Rachel Sanchez, Jared Tay, Lili Cook, Mariah Nibert, and Cassidy Syao.
Amador Valley High School’s competitive civics team includes: Varun Iyer, Carter Person, Nithya Swaminathan, Jonathan Yang, Andreas Maass, Kevin Zhu, Tania Gupta, Cathrine Lilja, Elise Allari, David Crofton, Mayank Sharma, Surya Venugopal, Kyle McGarrity, Amber Xie, Sachi Kheny, Justin Zhao, Tiffany Jing, Eknoor Kaur, Dorsa Sahafzadeh, Ziaan Rajabali, Calla Li, and Mariana Zuniga.
PUSD Superintendent David Haglund stated, “We are extremely proud of our Amador and Foothill student competitors. It almost goes without saying that to have our high school teams take both the first and second place prizes in the State competition is a testament to the hours of preparation put in by our awesome students and the dedication of their amazing teachers.”
The National We the People Competition will be held on April 27 - May 1, 2018 in Washington D.C.