Amador Valley High School’s competition civilian team is the best in the country, winning the national We the People tournament last week.
Bringing home the school’s second We the People National Championship in history was a testament to the hard work and dedication of the This Dawn team in a competitive educational program that fosters civic competence and responsibility by demonstrating to students their understanding of government and the Constitution . Congressional hearings, according to coach Stacey Sklar.
“This year’s team is a truly extraordinary group and it is a pleasure to work with them. They not only finished first in every stage of the competition, but they also developed a genuine love for history and civics ,” said Sklar, who also teaches English at the school.
For the competition, Schaller traveled with teams through Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., during which she could see the enthusiasm of the students and the benefits of the program.
“The deep understanding and appreciation for our system of government is what really fuels this program,” Sklar said.
It was a banner tournament for all of Pleasanton, as Foothill High School finished fourth in D.C. and Pleason Unified School District to give the top 4 nationally two teams for the second time in five years – in 2018, the Falcons. took second place and Don was in fourth place. Amador had previously won the national championship in 1995.
PUSD Superintendent David Haglund congratulated both teams in a statement, saying, “The students and adults who make up our competitive citizen science teams are truly remarkable and always an inspiring example of our PUSD mission. are: our students will make a better world.” High finish on the nationals.
Two Pleasanton schools represented California among 47 teams and nearly 1,000 high schools across the country in the national tournament held late last month.
The Amador Championship team of 22 students includes seniors Soria Boehner and Tom Lee.
Lee said that he had always been interested in STEM subjects, but in a history class he gave him a better appreciation of civics and that he enjoyed the subjects of the competition more than he expected.
“I never knew if I could build an obsession with science or really enjoy it that much,” Lee told Weekly.
Teammate Boehner, on the other hand, said that he had been interested in civics and politics since middle school, but the 2016 election piqued his interest when his family began attending public rallies.
“I don’t know if I want to be like an elected official, it’s a lot of pressure. But I would love to be a political science professor,” she said.
Historic closing by the Amador and Foothill teams this year saw thousands of hours of preparation by students, teacher trainers (Amador led by Foothill and Sklar led by Jeremy Datamore and Graham McBride), as well as parents and competitive citizen science alumni was the result. According to district officials.
“It was a true honor to coach this team,” said Datamore. “Despite all the challenges of the past two years, he met the challenge of We The People and took the foothill to the second best performance in our history. I couldn’t be more proud of his efforts and his achievements.”
According to Boehner, Amador’s preparation for competition required dedication as teammates spent anywhere from 24 to 30 hours outside of school hours training to compete.
“From Monday to Friday, we would call for three hours and we would practice,” Boehner said. “And then on the weekends, we’d spend six hours on Saturday and four hours in a Sunday meeting, going to the library, reading books together and discussing quotes and things like that.”
According to Amador Seniors, the secret of his success is the close bond, understanding and teamwork among the team members which helped him to rise ahead in the competition.
“We were all really close and I think we were able to learn a lot about each other, like strengths and weaknesses,” Boehner said. “It really helped each other in this. So that by the time we competed, there weren’t really any weaknesses we weren’t aware of, so (when the time came) we could really handle it.”
Lee agreed that a good friendship made it easier for him to bring home the title after more than a quarter-century.
“I think because our team connected so well, and we were really friends and partners of each other. So we were able to win the national title,” Lee said.
After months of preparation and hard work, the students said that they are happy with their victory.
“It’s an indescribable feeling,” Boehner said. “We spent seven months doing, you know, about 30 hours a week doing this… to win and be a national champion, it’s indescribable.”