We the People enter their virtual States competition ready to compete


photo courtesy: Ben Langholz

Maria Walters, Staff Writer

The We the People program practiced rigorously the whole semester for the upcoming States Competition. These students will be competing on Jan. 8th to secure their spot for nationals. 

“I am definitely nervous but not nearly as nervous as I was for districts in November. However, I feel a lot more confident in myself and with my unit’s essays this time around,” Ellie Sheridan ‘22 said. Each unit, consisting of three students, will be competing against other schools’ units on certain governmental topics at States. 

“I feel prepared for competition, my unit still has some work to do this week, but overall I think we’re doing well,” Kira Frang ‘22 said. Hr. Horos, the We The People teacher, has been practicing alongside Mr. Langholtz and Mr. Sirois to help prepare the students for success. “To prepare we’ve been doing practice run-throughs, which are basically scrimmages for competition with our teachers and previous unit members from last year,” Frang said.

Due to COVID-19, competition day was online this year, unlike previous years where it took place in Lansing, Michigan. “Competition day will consist of all 6 units presenting our four-minute essays, and then the judges will have 6 minutes to ask us questions, and that’s when we get to showcase our knowledge and show the judges how much we’ve learned over the past few months. After that, the judges will give us feedback and fill out a rubric to give us our scores,” Frang said. 

In terms of competition, the class will have to go against numerous schools in Michigan. “I believe that our toughest competition at states will be East Kentwood High School, I’m sure there will be other schools, but EK is definitely one of the best at states,” Horos said. Horos has worked closely with all units and individual students to secure a better understanding of their unit topics and ensure they have everything they need for competition day. 

“I have full confidence in the students this year,” Horos said, “students have taken extra time out of their days to continue to research their unit topics and have persisted immensely through the COVID-19 implications so I am sure they will do very well at States.”

However, the recent COVID-19 implications will not affect the student’s efforts at giving their all on competition day. And continue to remain optimistic. “COVID-19 has disallowed us from going to Lansing to compete in states, but we can’t use it as an excuse. Everyone else has had to deal with the same struggles as us. We’ve done the work necessary and put immense effort into the class, so all we need to do now is show that to the judges,” Eli Huey ‘24 said.

Likewise, Horos believes that “although the kids will miss out on the Lansing trip and the overall experience of presenting in Lansing, I believe they will do amazing and show their knowledge on their unit material very well to the judges,” he said.

The students continued the same optimistic attitude throughout the state competition where they won, beating East Kentwood and leading their sport at nationals. “Every unit did exceptionally well at states and I’m so happy that we will be able to go to nationals in April,” Sheridan said. The units won’t be able to go to Washington in April but will be practicing twice a week for three hours to prepare for nationals that will take place over Zoom.