StEIGHT Champs

James Dubreuil ‘19
EE Co-Managing Editor

After weeks of hard work and practice, the students of Ms. Boland’s United States Government and Constitutional Studies (also known as BICEN) class finally had the opportunity to put their countless hours of research and practice to the test for their state competition at Central Connecticut State University. Since the beginning of the year, the students have been writing and memorizing essays, learning about the foundations of our country, and looking at how the Constitution and all facets of the United States government apply to everyday life.

Trumbull High School’s We the People team had been the reigning state champions in this competition for the past seven years. On Monday, December 17th, they were looking to continue the streak. Despite the rising competition, most notably Staples and Greenwich, it was definitely not impossible.

The students met and practiced in front of many different judging panels including teachers and members of the Trumbull community, BICEN alumni, and attorneys from the Schulte Roth & Zabel law firm of New York City. The students were asked countless questions and had to present their stance on three complex questions based on their interpretation of the Constitution.

“Practicing is the key to success. By preparing for each question we can get, it decreases the room for error in the hardest part of the competition,” remarked George James (‘19), one student in the program.

On Wednesday, December 12th, the group had their dress rehearsal at the Trumbull town hall. The students reenacted exactly what would be happening at the state competition in front of a panel of judges at the dress rehearsal, dubbed by the team as their “Night with the Experts”. This event was open to the public and featured each of the six groups’ presentation of one of their questions.

“The dress rehearsal really allowed me to visualize the competition. The room was packed with parents just like it will be for States. It was good to get the nerves out,” said another BICEN student, Owen Hopwood (‘19).

The students’ dress rehearsal is the best way to visualize the actual competition, as you should for any competitive event. By letting out these nerves and visualizing the actual event, you will be even more confident when the time comes to compete.
The students’ coach, Ms. Boland, reflected on their preparation on the days leading up to the state competition. “I’m so proud of all my students. The preparation for States has been long and hard with students meeting after hours at school, Starbucks, or their homes. Our Constitutional scholars are ready to defend their state title,” said Ms. Boland.

When the day came for these students to defend their title, they did exactly that. Trumbull took home the gold and won States for the 8th consecutive year.

The students dominated the competition and earned the best unit award in five of the six categories. Not only did the team dominate through their individual units, they also dominated overall. Trumbull’s team beat both second place Staples and third place Greenwich by a margin of victory of 30 points and 60 points, respectively.

After their well-deserved victory, the team was ecstatic, to say the least. “It was one of the most rewarding experiences to know that we had carried on such a long legacy. It was amazing to see how each unit’s individual hard work came together and our one collective team succeeded in making both Ms. Boland and ourselves proud,” said BICEN student Camryn Fetzer (‘19).
By placing first as a team on the state level, the team qualified for the eighth year in a row to participate in the nationals competition that will take place in Washington D.C. this coming April.

Trumbull’s 24th state title further cements the long-running legacy of We the People in our high school. Congratulations Trumbull!

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