Trumbull High School’s We the People team are preparing for this weekend’s national competition in Washington D.C.
The 22 students are members of Katie Boland's AP/ECE American Government class and are all seniors this year.

The 28th Annual We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution National Finals hearings take place on Saturday, April 25, and Sunday, April 26, at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and on Monday, April 27, in congressional hearing rooms on Capitol Hill. About 1,300 high school students from across the country take part in the academic competition, which tests students’ knowledge and understanding of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. The competition takes the form of simulated congressional hearings, where students serve as “experts” on one of the six units of the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution text.

The students have a final practice session called “Night with the Experts,” at Trumbull's Town Hall Council Chambers on Wednesday, April 22 at 7 p.m.  Experts helping the team include: Laura Alford (Hillcrest Middle School), Attorney Matt Reale, Professor Steven Michels (Sacred Heart University), and attorney Anthony Musto.

“Well, it's certainly a lot of work, but all the preparation from states still rings true and it helps a lot,” Team member Justin Jager said of preparing. “I'd say one of the hardest parts is trying not to say ‘I've already won states, I know what this is about’ because it’s those little rough spots that can really catch up to you. Plus, the thought of being the first voice to represent Trumbull at D.C. is intimidating, but as a performer you learn to be excited for that sort of opportunity.”

The team won the state competition for the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution on December 14t at Central Connecticut State University. This was Trumbull's 4th straight championship win and their 20th win since the program was founded in 1987.

Team members are: Victoria Carter, Avery Collins, Eric Eisdorfer, Meghan Farrell, Caroline Forster, Elianna Gerb, Nicholas Grew, Zaineb Haroon, Justin Jager, Rohit Kandala, Krystyna Kryzanski, Julia Murphy, Daniel Netting, Nikhil Ramachandran, Anna Ribbens, Chiaki Santiago, Thomas Switzgable, Frederick Tamarkin, Emma Thornton, Bridget Weston, Erin Wingo, and Michael Zabin

The 28th Annual We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution National Finals hearings take place on Saturday, April 25, and Sunday, April 26, at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and on Monday, April 27, in congressional hearing rooms on Capitol Hill. About 1,300 high school students from across the country take part in the academic competition, which tests students' knowledge and understanding of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. The competition takes the form of simulated congressional hearings, where students serve as “experts” on one of the six units of the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution text.

Trumbull High School's We the People team receive support from the Trumbull Board of Education as well as the Trumbull Academic Challenge for Excellence (ACE) Foundation.

In addition, the We the People team have received tremendous help from Schulte, Roth and Zabel law firm of New York. This partnership was started by Trumbull High alum Andrew Gladstein, a member of the program in 2002. Andrew reached out to help the team in 2014 as he was “reflecting on what a profound effect the experience had on me, and my future career.” The team traveled to the law firm on April 6th where the students were questioned from some of the top attorneys in New York City as they prepared for the National Finals in two weeks. Afterwards, the Schulte Roth and Zabel provided lunch for the team and then they had a work session with Trumbull High alumni Andrew Gladstein and Sarah Schroeder '02 (DiRaimondo & Schroeder LLP, Brooklyn NY).

“Having the chance to work with such a prestigious law firm has been unbelievable,” Team member Erin Wingo said. “We've received a tremendous amount of material to use for our competition, but we've also had such great support from Andy and his firm. The material we deal with isn't always on the easiest topics, so we've grown academically as a team through the resources we utilize, but also on a professional level. Having that chance to work with some extremely accomplished people has given me experience I would have never had until college and afterwards, and it has been more than I could ever hope for.”