Bicen Takes 8th In The Nation

Rachel Tropp ’16
EE Editor-in-Chief

After months of preparation, the THS Bicen team headed off to Washington, D.C. for nationals on April 22nd. Having swept the state competition, winning in every category, the team felt well prepared to take on the nation, especially with the help of Ms. Boland and coach Andy Gladstein, a lawyer and alumnus of the program.  

The competition included three days of hearings at the University of Maryland and the U.S. Capitol on constitutional law topics ranging from the use of presidential power to judicial review to the influence of the Northwest Ordinance. The six teams of four rooted for their teammates as they took the stage opposite esteemed judges, many of whom were professors or members of state supreme courts.

While they weren’t competing, students had the opportunity to tour D.C., visiting national monuments, Georgetown, the Supreme Court, the White House, and Capitol Hill, as well as Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home. The class got to meet with Congressman Jim Himes’s staff and hear about how they got involved in politics, and got the chance to be featured on Senator Chris Murphy’s Snapchat story when they met with him on the Capitol steps.

The weekend culminated in an awards ceremony Monday night, where the team found out they had won 8th in the nation, out of a total of 56 teams (50 states and six wildcards).

Unit 1 member Jimmy McEwan said, “This weekend has been the highlight of my senior year. All of our hard work really showed and it was amazing. The We the People program has been an amazing experience and I’m so fortunate to be on this team that made it to 8th in the nation.”

Teammate Emily Ramsey agreed, saying, “I am beyond proud and thankful to have been a part of this We the People team. The friendships that were formed, the memories made, and the success we achieved will be with me for the rest of my life.”

As part of the Top 10, the team got to spend the last day of competition in the Longworth House Office Building, in the room where the House Committee for Natural Resources meets. Team member Kristi Bui said, “This weekend was without a doubt one of the best experiences I have had in high school, from being able to meet and chat with lawyers, professors, and learn more about our government. Even more than that, it taught us that we are a family–six units, one team.”

Unit 6 member Aravind Sureshbabu felt the same way.

“This entire weekend and this entire year has been about all 24 of us coming together to help each other and become a family. That experience was capped off when we all held hands waiting to hear our results. This class embodies the spirit of a family.”

 

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