Cleveland’s Constitution team, fresh off its second place finish in the state competition earlier this year, is preparing for its first time at the national competition April 24 – 27.
Led by adviser Sadie Adams, a Cleveland history teacher, the team qualified due to its second place finish along with Grant, the state champion.
While the competition normally takes place in Washington D.C., this year, students will be competing on a Zoom call. They will begin on April 24 by answering prepared responses to two separate questions, followed by several questions that require unprepared responses shortly after. The questions will be related to not only the Constitution, but also history, philosophy, and current events, requiring each team to study every one of the topics in preparation. If Cleveland makes it to the top 12, they compete again on the following Monday.
Schools across the country have been preparing weeks in advance for this event. They have a weekly team meeting, some with their coach, and others without, for maximum preparation for the competition. All schools divide up into units and follow the same basic schedule, with some possibly having different strategies. Some schools meet more frequently, and have special coaches to help with the preparation of the prepared responses.
According to sophomore Simone Maher, a member of the Constitution team, the whole group seems to be feeling equally nervous and excited. Because this is Cleveland’s first time at the national competition, and because they feel they have worked hard, they are aiming for a high finish.
Historically, Oregon has a solid record when competing in the national event, which is sponsored by the We The People organization. Grant and Lincoln high schools have won the national title numerous times, and beating Lincoln at state to reach the national event is a major accomplishment for Cleveland’s young program.