Amador Valley finishes 2nd, Foothill 3rd in statewide 'We the People' competition

Arcadia High new California champion after series of Amador wins

Amador Valley High School and Foothill High School took second and fourth places in Friday's state finals in Sacramento in the 2010 "We the People" competition.

Arcadia (Calif.) High School captured first place with Irvington High School in Fremont coming in third. Centennial High in Bakersfield finished fifth.

Amador won in the statewide competition last year, the eighth year that Amador competition civics teams had won state championships and competed in the national contest. The school fielded teams in the nationals in 1992, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and last year. In 1995, Amador won the national championship.

The Irvington High "We the People" team, coached by history teacher and Pleasanton City Councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio, has finished first, third and fourth in previous state competitions.

More than 300 students from 12 California high schools participated in the academic competition, which tested their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Arcadia High School now advances to the We the People National Finals, to be held starting April 24 in Washington, D.C.

Kari Coppinger, spokeswoman for the program, said students demonstrated their understanding of the Constitution before a simulated congressional committee consisting of constitutional scholars, lawyers, civic educators and government leaders who judged the classes' performances. The judges tested the students' comprehension of the six units of the "We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution" text.

The winning school will be recognized at tonight's awards banquet in Sacramento, where other participating schools also will be honored for their achievements.

Awards were being presented to the schools with the highest non-finalist score in each of the six units of the text.

• Unit 1 (The Philosophical and Historical Foundations of the American Political System): Galileo Academy of Science & Technology, San Francisco;

• Unit 2 (How the Framers Created the Constitution): Calvin Christian High School, Escondido

• Unit 3 (How Changes in the Constitution Have Furthered the Ideals of the Declaration of Independence): Martin Luther King Jr. High School, Riverside;

• Unit 4 (How the Values and Principles Embodied in the Constitution Shaped American Institutions and Practices): Foothill High School, Bakersfield;

• Unit 5 (The Rights That the Bill of Rights Protects): Monta Vista High School, Cupertino, and,

• Unit 6 (Twenty-first Century Challenges to American Constitutional Democracy): Arvin High School, Arvin

Implemented nationwide in upper elementary, middle and high schools, the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program has reached more than 30 million students and 81,000 teachers since its inception in 1987, Coppinger said. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education under the Education for Democracy Act approved by Congress and directed by the Center for Civic Education.

According to Coppinger, independent research shows that high school students who participated in the We the People program scored significantly higher on a test of political knowledge than their peers. We the People classes scored 30 percent higher than matched comparison government classes on a comprehensive test that measured understanding of core values and principles of democracy, constitutional limits on governmental institutions, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by Cheryl Cook-Kallio
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Feb 5, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Congratulations to Keldon Clegg and Jeremy Detamore for their hard work with the Pleasanton students. Congratulations to all the students involved. I wish you could see these kids. It gives all of us hope for the future.

Young people who participate in this program go on to be real participants in our democracy.

Just a note about Arcadia. Kevin Fox is the coach. He has made the state finals 11 times and this is his first win. He is a wonderful coach and a terrific human being. My congratulations to his team!

Like this comment
Posted by Jennifer Hosterman
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Feb 5, 2010 at 11:30 pm

Congratulations to all of our participating teams, and our winners! Amazing. Cheryl, I trust you and your kids are having a great time, and I look forward to hearing more from you and your kids - I would like to congratulate them, personally. And I extend the same to our Pleasanton boys and girls - I am so proud of all of you!

Jennifer Hosterman
City of Pleasanton

Like this comment
Posted by Paula
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 6, 2010 at 8:25 pm

Snuggle sisters...precious! How warm and fuzzy our Pleasanton City Council gals are, we are so fortunate to have them in charge of making important decisions for our fair city. I for one will rest like a champ knowing that they will continue to present fine examples of democracy to the youth of our community.

Like this comment
Posted by Patricia
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Feb 7, 2010 at 9:08 am

Actually, Paula, it is the kids on these teams who present the best imaginable example of democracy to all of us. I wish everyone who thinks name-calling is the best way to argue for change in their local community or our nation would attend one of these competitions and see these high school students make thoughtful, well-reasoned arguments -- all supported by constitutional law, precedent and logic.

I am not a parent of a child on any of these teams, and am not a big fan of our current city council. But I got curious one day and went to a competition and WOW. "We The People" is an example of civil discourse at it's best and most effective. Wouldn't it be great if the grown ups on this forum could learn how to conduct themselves with the same dignity, intelligence and respect.

Congratulations to both of Pleasanton's teams.

Like this comment
Posted by Hannah
a resident of another community
on Feb 7, 2010 at 10:18 am

Congrats to Kevin Fox and Arcadia High on their victory!

Like this comment
Posted by Marissa
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 7, 2010 at 12:41 pm

I just wanted to congratulate both teams, they were great!!
Amador.... Second place in the state is awesome! A big aplause to your teacher, Mr. Clegg. These senior high school students, demostrated the understanding of the U.S. Constitution in front of our government leaders and lawyers in Sacramento.
Both schools students should be recongnized personally by our major,
Thank you Mrs Hosterman for your comment.

Again, Congrats to Amador and Foothill, they both represented our city in high honor. Good Job!!
These are the programs that we should keep in our schools.

Like this comment
Posted by Paula
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 7, 2010 at 5:41 pm marvelous that you took it upon yourself to attend a "We the People" competition. You are to be commended for your civic diligence; I can only imagine your surprise, displeasure or delight when I tell you that I have attended numerous local and State "We the People" events. I too wish the adults involved had a fraction of the integrity of the dedicated and hard working students. The new, young teachers who coach both teams are to be congratulated, the old guard has almost all fallen away as well as the hateful spirit that drove them. Sorry to tell you that some of the leaders in the Pleasanton community have stoked the fire of this hateful vendetta. There's a lot of history behind Comp Civics that goes beyond the kids...but nice try.

Like this comment
Posted by GO away PW trolls
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 8, 2010 at 8:36 am

Why does every positive thread on this website devolve into a petty argument?!?! Just congratulate the people on their achievement and move on!

Like this comment
Posted by Lugnut
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 8, 2010 at 11:20 am

Paula, you suck.

Like this comment
Posted by Howard Adams Neelly
a resident of Old Towne
on Feb 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm

As an ex Industrial Arts Teacher in Fremont Unified School District, I worked with Cheryl, and let me tell you a real secret, there are few teachers out there who are more dedicated than she. State competitions are quite complex, so it is an honor for those teachers who work so hard to modivate their students. Congratulations to our teachers at Amador and Foothill, plus our local resident teacher, Council mMember Cheryl Cook-Kallio.
Hopefully, she will again run re-election.

Like this comment
Posted by letsgo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 8, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Congrats to all the kids!

Why are there only 12 high schools competing? Are there regional competitions or is it really that limited. Seems like it should be more popular.

Like this comment
Posted by Mama Bear
a resident of Country Fair
on Feb 9, 2010 at 5:45 am

Congratulations to both Schools on their achievements. My child was on a team that went to State many years ago when Amador used to compete against Foothill before the State contest and only 1 school could go. There was a HUGE ruckus raised and I imagine that is what Paula is referring to with her comments. Since that time the two schools now compete in different regional competitions so if both schools do well they can end up competing against each other at State. It's obvious that the teachers work hard but the hours the kids put in is unbelievable. Even dedicated teachers sometimes over react and become mean spirited when their own child's team doesn't fare well; hopefully the anger from many years ago is being used in a positive manner by the individual involved. Good luck to the Arcadia team at State, they've always been up there but never quite made it.

Like this comment
Posted by leave it to pleasanton
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 9, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Why is everything so negative on the PW? This is one of the most hateful and spiteful communities I have ever been a part of. Paula, I don't care who you are, but you seem to have a lot of facts that only you are privy to, and spew hate. This is about the kids, and the kids only! STOP all your hatred and get a life.

Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2010 at 6:35 pm

In answer to why there are only 12 teams. . .Many schools use the material, it is up to the teacher as to whether they compete or not. There is the potential of a competition in each congressional district. The schools that prevail there go on to one of ten regionals, made up of a number of congressional districts. If they prevail there they go on to state. Wild cards make up the last two spots. They are the highest scoring schools in the regionals that don't win. If a team passes on the opportunity, the spot is offered to the highest scoring team statewide.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Couples: Reading List
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 682 views

Castlewood members considering offer from Bay Club
By Tim Hunt | 0 comments | 645 views