CONTACT: Teresa Weidemann-Smith
State Bar of Wisconsin
(800) 444-9404, ext. 6025
Students Compete in State Hearings Competition
(MADISON) February 7, 2005 – Student teams
from Greenfield, Heritage Christian, Ripon, Wauwatosa East and Wisconsin
Dells High Schools participated in the 2005 We the People ... The
Citizen and the Constitution Wisconsin State Hearing competition at
the State Capitol in Madison. The teams prepared for the competition by
completing a semester instructional program about the Constitution and
the Bill of Rights.
We the People ... The Citizen and the Constitution, a
national program based on curriculum designed to promote a deeper
understanding of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, is funded in
part by the U.S. Department of Education. Wisconsin's program, supported
by the State Bar of Wisconsin Law-related Education Committee, the
Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies and the Wisconsin Law
Foundation promotes civic competence and responsibility among
"In the past 18 years, this educational program has involved hundreds
of students and teachers in the study of the Constitution and the Bill
of Rights," said Chuttie Senn, Chair of the Law-related Education
Committee of the State Bar of Wisconsin. "The mock congressional hearing
event is the culmination of students learning and understanding the
Constitutional principles of our government."
At the competition, students answered questions posed by panels
consisting of lawyers, legislators and educational professionals.
Students benefit from critical thinking exercises, problem-solving
activities, and cooperative learning techniques which help develop
intellectual and participatory skills while increasing students'
understanding of the institutions of American constitutional democracy.
"Each member of the class becomes an expert witness on one of six units
in the curriculum text and then testifies in small groups before a panel
of volunteer judges acting as U.S. congressional representatives, Senn
said. "The curriculum's design and mock congressional hearing activity,
makes this program so successful because it addresses the standards
required in Wisconsin's (K-12) curriculum."
Miss Madison 2004 Kelly Jo Stauffacher and Miss Wisconsin 2004 Molly
Jean McGrath, who also served as judges for the competition, presented
awards to the students at the awards ceremony following the competition.
Heritage Christian High School with teacher Tim Moore took first place
honors at the 2005 competition. The students will participate in the
National Hearing Competition in April 2005 in Washington D.C.
For more information about the State Bar of Wisconsin's We the
People ... The Citizen and the Constitution program, contact Dee
Runaas, State Bar of Wisconsin LRE Coordinator at (608) 250-6191 or at
org drunaas wisbar wisbar drunaas org or Teresa
Weidemann-Smith, Public Relations Coordinator at (608) 250-6025 or at org twsmith wisbar wisbar twsmith org.
The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional association,
created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who hold a
Wisconsin law license. With more than 21,000 members, the State Bar aids
the courts in improving the administration of justice, provides
continuing legal education for its members to help them maintain their
expertise, and assists Wisconsin lawyers in carrying out community
service initiatives to educate the public about the legal system and the
value of lawyers.
For more information, visit www.wisbar.org or www.legalexplorer.com.