For the fourth year running, Foothill High School's competitive civics team is headed to the We the People national finals.
Both Foothill and Amador Valley teams participated in this year's state finals, held online due to the pandemic. Foothill advanced as one of two California high schools to earn a spot in the national finals next month, qualifying by wild card.
In a statement, coach Graham McBride said the Foothill team "has risen above and beyond given the unprecedented circumstances of this school year and shown tremendous resilience and maturity in the process."
"We are very eager to see them show their tremendous depth of knowledge at the We the People national finals," McBride said.
The civics competition tests students from around the country by challenging them to demonstrate their understanding of the U.S. Constitution and federal government in mock congressional hearings. Students use critical thinking and other analytical skills to evaluate and support positions on historical and contemporary matters.
Limits on public gatherings means the Foothill team will stay in town and compete virtually in the civics competition like last year, when Amador won an award for Division B. National finalists normally compete in person in Virginia and Washington D.C. Last year both Amador and Foothill represented California at nationals, with the Dons earning second place and the Falcons eliminated in an earlier round.
Teacher Stacey Sklar -- who heads Amador's team and successively led them to nationals from 2018 to 2020 -- said her students "did a wonderful job" in the state finals and "exceeded all of my expectations." In total, Amador has competed in the nationals 18 times over the competition's 34 years of existence, including winning the national title in 1995.
At the moment, Sklar and her class are developing podcasts and web pages so that the entire Amador student body can learn about their rights.
The 34th National We the People Finals will be held virtually from April 23-26. To learn more, visit www.civiced.org.