EHS We The People team goes to National Finals

Aidan Chappuis

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The Easthampton High We the People team went to Washington D.C. for the national finals from Friday, April 27th, through Tuesday, May 1. The competition was mostly held at the National Conference Center in the D.C area, with the final round held in the hearing rooms for several congressional commitees. The team of 21 students were organized into 6 units, each dealing with on a particular topic area. Each unit prepared three four-minute statements on different questions, then had to answer six minutes of follow-up questions.

Easthampton was not one of the top 10 finishers out of the 52 teams there in the first 2 days, and so did not make the third round. However, Carlie Raucher, Devon Owens-Heywood, Shane O’Donnell, and Chantel Duda won a unit award for being the best Unit 2 group in the competition. Their unit deals with the creation of the constitution, and this is only the third time Massachusetts has recieved any award at the competition since the competition began in 1987. Overall, they finished 22nd out of 52 teams.

The students left the school at 7:00 Friday morning for Logan airport, and stayed in a hotel near Baltimore. They visited several monuments and museums in the area, including the National Museum of African-American History, Mount Ver non, the Newseum, Arlington National Cemetery, and the FDR memorial. They traveled with students from North Smithfield High School in Rhode Island. Their flight home was delayed for several hours due to mechanical issues, so they arrived later than expected. They recieved a police escort while coming down Mount Tom, and were greeted at the school by a large crowd of parents, teachers, and students.

Easthampton qualified for the national finals by winning the state finals in Boston in January, and raised approximately $41,000 from various community groups, small businesses, individuals, and fundraisers to fund the trip.

Unit 2 at their table

The class on Representative Neil’s balcony

The Easthampton delegation in the hearing room

 

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EHS We The People team goes to National Finals