Amador Valley High's civics champs make top 10 in nationals Comments on Stories, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on May 5, 2008 at 8:38 am
Amador Valley High School's Competition Civics team was named one of the top 10 in the country last night after two days of intense competition in the 2008 "We the People" competition in Washington, D.C.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, May 5, 2008, 5:19 AM
Posted by Cheryl Cook-Kallio, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 5, 2008 at 1:29 pm
I saw Amador Valley compete today in the finals. They were absolutely wonderful. The nerves were gone and they were nailing question after question. It was delightful to watch. Congratulations to the team and to Brian Ladd. What a gift to the community.
Posted by BG Hunt, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 6, 2008 at 6:32 am
I am still a very proud Amador Valley teacher. These students are incredible. I agree with Brian in his comments about our future is in great hands. As parents you should set a goal for your child to participate in this program with Brian Ladd or with which ever teacher runs the program at your school. It is the peak experience of your child's academic experience in school. It brings together all the necessary skills such as time management and group work with the demanding academic skills necessary to participate in debate and in preparing presentations clearly. In addition they come to appreciate our system of government and communciation in an entirely new way. You will look at your child and ask, "Is that my kid?" as you stand amazed at the advanced thought and wisdom which comes out of their mouths.
Posted by Beyond Proud, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on May 6, 2008 at 12:54 pm
After having just returned from the finals in Washington, D.C., I will echo that this is an experience for any student not to be missed if you are fortunate enough to be chosen!
Some direct comments to various units from judges after final round questions:
From the head of politcal science at the University of Michigan. "If any of you in this group have yet to make a selection for college, I would like to extend to any of you a personal invitation to attend the University of Michigan" "Each of you would be an huge asset to our University!"
"Your knowledge of the constitution, and ability to apply its history and principals far exceeds any of my classes at my University." "Your extensive preparation is obvious, and your depth of knowledge is impresssive". Political Science professor for another major university.
What is truely astounding about Amador's program is that each year a new group of Seniors is chosen with no particular background or interest in the constitution, its history etc... The top competition have multi-year programs where students are "groomed" to participate in this program. In fact the 2nd place team is from the Maggie L. Walker "Governor's School for Government and International studies" from Virginia where students are hand picked and trained specifically for a future in Governmental Politics. The winning school from East High in Denver run a 4 year program where students are "prepared" to ultimately compete in the National competition.
What Brian Ladd (and his group of ardent supporters), has done year in and year out with an 11 month program and the commitment of the great Amador Students is beyond astounding. The recognition this program brings to our school is unbelievable! Pleasanton should be very proud of these students!
Congratulations to Amador Valley for another outstanding effort!
Posted by Jim Smith, a resident of another community, on May 7, 2008 at 2:21 pm
Speaking as a Texas licensed attorney, I only wish that I was afforded such an incredible learning experience as the Amador Comp Civics team was during this past year. The leader and each team member is to be congratulated for their hard work, dedication, commitment and perseverance. While they may not realize it today, it will be a life changing experience for them and memories that they will carry with them throughout their college days and professional careers. As I told team member and nephew, Ryan Seams, I have no doubt that the team has a better understanding and appreciation of the U.S. Constitution than I do! Congratulations to all, Jim
Posted by Proud mom, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on May 7, 2008 at 3:11 pm
As a parent who knew nothing about the program before our son participated, I was a tiny bit skeptical when Mr. Ladd said the students would be doing graduate-level studies in Constitutional law. But as a lawyer myself, I have absolutely no doubt that these kids know more about Constitutional law, the philosophy of the founding fathers and the roots of our democracy than me or anyone else I went to law school with. And I believe that these kids, and everyone else who was in the programs in other schools, who worked incredibly hard and learned so much, will be life-long advocates of strong civic education in our schools. I wish every high school student could learn what they have learned; I believe we would have a better country if every school student learned the basic curriculum these kids learned and built upon. Thank you, Mr. Ladd, and thank you Amador for this wonderful opportunity!!
Posted by JP, Cycling for Civics, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on May 8, 2008 at 9:39 pm
Congratulations Amador Comp Civics Team! We are so proud of you. Everyone I talk to asks me how the team did and I'm so proud to let them know what a great effort you gave, not only at Nationals but for the past 11 months. As I read the previous comments it's apparent you've touched many people in this community and you should be proud. Proud of your country, proud of your community, proud of your school, teachers and educational opportunities here in Pleasanton, proud of your parents that you know are just beaming...but most of all...proud of yourselves. Well done!