Consistency is often an indication of quality.
Wauwatosa West High School's "We the People" team is the epitome of those words and demonstrated so by advancing to the national level of competition for the tenth consecutive year.
“The understanding these students have about our Constitution and government is beyond impressive," Chad Mateske, the faculty leader of the group said. "They are certain to be leaders in their occupations and their communities.”
The students are headed to Washington D.C. to represent Wisconsin and compete in the event called "We the People: The Citizen and Constitution competition" April 22-24.
The team secured the opportunity to go to the nation's capital by winning Wisconsin’s state competition Jan. 21 where they competed against four other schools, including second-place finisher Wauwatosa East.
The foundation of the program is the classroom curriculum, according to the We the People website. The class work complements the regular school curriculum by providing upper elementary, middle and high school students with an innovative course of instruction on the history and principles of U.S. constitutional democracy.
"Students (in the program) demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles and have opportunities to evaluate, take, and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues," the website said.
In D.C. the team will compete against teams from all 50 U.S. states and 12 wild card teams. If they make the top ten, they advance to the final round of hearings that will be held in hearing rooms on Capitol Hill.
“Since this summer, our students have spent countless hours in our classroom as well as meeting with our group mentors during their free time to gain a firm grasp of the foundation of our government and its modern applications including major case law (historic and present)," Mateske said.
Since it was founded in 1987, more than 28 million students and 75,000 educators have participated in the We the People program.
In addition to Mateske, other faculty teaching assistants include Clarence Diogo, Adam Fendos, Clare Jennings, Steven Ross and Nadiyah Salawdeh.
In addition to preparing for a new round of 18 questions for the national competition, Wauwatosa West’s We the People team needs to raise nearly $70,000 to cover as much of the trip cost as possible for the 28-person team and their teaching assistants.
In the effort to raise funds, the Trojans will host a number of events, including a brunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 12 at O’Sullivan’s, 12525 W. North Ave, Brookfield. The cost to attend the all-you-can-eat brunch is $15 per person.
A release from the school said because of the popularity of the event in past years, advance reservations are strongly suggested. To make a reservation call 262-784-1656. There will be a 50/50 raffle at the brunch.
In addition, the Trojan team will hold bake sales during the day and evening of both Tosa West High School parent/teacher conference nights March 2 and 7. The team also has a gofundme page.
Those who'd like more information about the team or are interested in supporting the team's fundraising efforts are asked to contact Chad Mateske at 414-773-3198 or firstname.lastname@example.org.