We The People
Academic competition season kicked off with Centennial winning the “We the People” regional tournament
Centennial High School won the ‘We the People’ regional championship, which took place on Saturday, Dec. 7 at Golden Valley High School. Centennial will go on to represent Kern County in the state championships of the “We the People ― The Citizen and the Constitution” congressional hearings competition to be held in February in Bakersfield.
This was the second time in as many years that Centennial received the top honors, just edging out Arvin High School in overall scoring.
Regional competition consisted of nine Kern County high school teams competing for a chance to win either the 21st or 23rd Congressional District title, depending on the district in which they were seeded. Arvin High School won the 21st Congressional District trophy and Centennial was victorious in the 23rd District. Centennial emerged as the overall region champion in very close scoring.
Arvin High’s runner-up finish does not necessarily mean it is out of a chance to compete in the state championships. There are ten regional representatives. In past years, as many as two regions have not sent representatives leaving wild card openings for teams with the best statewide scores among runner-ups.
The event is unique because the schools never compete face-to-face. Each team individually presents testimony in two rounds of six mock congressional hearings. Congressional committees, consisting of community scholars and civic leaders, pose one of three study questions to the students prior to the competition. Each team is allowed four minutes to present testimony. Then, for an additional six minutes, teams answer questions posed by judges involving constitutional issues raised by events in history. The combined totals of all six team units determines the winner.
Approximately 300 students participated in the competition giving testimony on questions relating to their study of the U.S. Constitution. Competing high schools from the 21st Congressional District were Arvin, Golden Valley, Mira Monte and Shafter. Centennial, East, West, Liberty, and Ridgeview high schools made up the 23rd Congressional District.
Overall Congressional District Finalists
21st Congressional District ― First Place ― Arvin High School
21st Congressional District ― Second Place ― Golden Valley High School
21st Congressional District ― Third Place ― Mira Monte High School
23rd Congressional District ― First Place ― Centennial High School
23rd Congressional District ― Second Place ― Liberty High School
23rd Congressional District ― Third Place ― East High School
Centennial and Arvin were presented with perpetual trophies at the awards ceremony in the Golden Valley High auditorium that will remain in the schools’ possession until next year’s competition.
The event, coordinated by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, is made possible through a grant from Chevron. Other supporters include Golden Valley High School, Kern High School District, U.S. Dept. of Education, Center for Civic Education, the Honorable David Valadao and the Honorable Kevin McCarthy.