Foothill High School will be representing California in this year's We the People national competition in Washington, D.C. after winning the state championship earlier this month.
Amador Valley High School, the defending U.S. champion, will join their Pleasanton peers at nationals in April as the second school to represent California in 2023 after taking home the second place award in the state competition on Feb. 4, which secured their spot in D.C.
We the People is a national educational program where students demonstrate their understanding of government and the Constitution by participating in simulated congressional hearings, according to a press release from Pleasanton Unified School District.
The news of going to nationals spread soon after Foothill seniors celebrated their state championship more than a week ago. This marks the sixth time that the school will represent California in the national competition.
"This victory belongs to every member of our team," said Graham McBride, the Foothill U.S. history teacher who leads the civics team each year. "They put the time and effort in, and we're thrilled that that work has paid off. This is the first time FHS has won the state championship and our program is excited to celebrate this milestone."
Amador is also no stranger to the competition, as last year's team actually won the whole thing at nationals.
"The students and I are so excited to be heading to D.C. to compete in the National Finals this year," said Stacey Sklar, the English and social studies teacher who coaches Amador's civics team. "We look forward to preparing our questions, seeing the sights and competing against some terrific teams."
PUSD Superintendent David Haglund lauded both teams in his report out to the Board of Trustees during the Feb. 9 school board meeting and commended the students and the teachers for their hard work and dedication.
"Congratulations are due to coaches Graham McBride, Jeremy Detamore and Stacey Sklar, who dedicate hundreds of hours with the students as they prepare for the competitions every year," Haglund said. "We are really really proud of these amazing teachers and, of course, their incredible students and we wish them best of luck in Washington D.C."
The competitive civics program, which is sponsored by the Center for Civic Education, is held annually at the country's capitol -- this year's competition will take place from April 22-24. Only the top two teams from the state championships go on to compete in the national competition.
According to the program's website, more than 30 million students and 75,000 educators have participated in the We the People program since it was first founded in 1987.