Pacifica’s Constitutional Academic Team Proceeds to State Finals in Its First Year
This year, Pacifica Christian High School founded a We the People Academic Team comprised of its Honors United States History students. This team joins the prestigious and competitive We the People program that was developed through an act of Congress, and led by Chief Justice Warren Burger in 1976, to commemorate the nation’s bicentennial, and to promote Constitutional expertise and good citizenship in American students. The non-partisan program guides students on an in-depth journey through Biblical foundations, the Magna Charta, the Mayflower Compact, classical republicanism, natural rights, the Articles of Confederation, the debates of the Federal Convention, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the writings of both the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, each of the amendments, and landmark Supreme Court cases from Marbury v. Madison through the present day, applying Constitutional principles to both majority and dissenting opinions.
While following the robust We the People curriculum—that also qualifies them to take the AP Government test and meets the requirement for college-level U.S. History credit—Pacifica’s team engaged in three months of intensive classwork, homework, and outside-of-class meetings to prepare for the district level We the People competition on December 3. At this event, our students participated in a mock congressional hearing before a panel of judges, attorneys, and elected officials. After presenting four minutes of testimony, they were questioned for twelve minutes on their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles and how they would apply that to both historical and contemporary issues. The team then defended their positions with the foundational documents they had been studying for so long.
As a result of their excellent performance, Pacifica’s team was selected to represent the Los Angeles district at the state finals in Sacramento on February 3-4, 2023. A win there qualifies them to travel to Washington D.C. for the national competition, where federal district judges and members of Congress often serve as panelists.
Judges at the district level were extremely impressed with Pacifica’s students, seeking out their teacher, Mrs. Angela Ward, to share that they “could not believe this was their first year,” because the students were “so well-prepared, so well-spoken and so enthusiastic[…] They clearly invested a lot of time and work in learning the Constitution, and they know their stuff.”
While the We the People Academic Team is enjoying great success, Pacifica’s other Academic Teams are accomplishing great things in their own unique disciplines. Our Math, Junior Classical, and Speech & Debate teams are successfully traveling, competing, and winning—and most importantly—discovering true joy as they grow within the goals of our Pacifica Continuum, becoming good citizens who think and live well. From defending free and virtuous people in a constitutional system to explaining the importance of the Sermon on the Mount, our students are prepared to wrestle with, understand, charitably defend, and promote the best ideas for human flourishing.
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