Wauwatosa High Schools Compete at State “We The People” Constitutional Competition


Annabelle Wooster

Both Wauwatosa High Schools competed in the State “We The People” Constitutional Competition in Chicago, Illinois.

Annabelle Wooster

Wauwatosa West and Wauwatosa East competed in the state “We The People” constitutional competition on Friday, January 13th. There is no program coordinator in Wisconsin so both schools traveled to Kent Law School in Chicago to compete alongside schools from Illinois. Though both states competed in the same building, the scores for the states were kept separate. 

The competition mimics a congressional hearing in which the students are divided into six teams ranging from three to six members, depending on the class size. Each team is responsible for delivering a four minute prepared statement to a known question. After the statement, teams must respond to six minutes of follow up questions for which they have to craft “on the spot” responses  to. They complete two rounds of this format with a new question during each round.

Wauwatosa West won the state championship for the fifteenth time and will be heading to the National Competition in Washington D.C in the spring. 

Wauwatosa East finished in second place. With a small class of only 14 students, many of their students prepared twice as much content and knowledge. 

“I think they did an amazing job especially since a majority of the class was preparing 6 questions instead of 3. Having it in person was definitely more nerve wracking but much more exciting to watch. Going to Illinois was also very exciting, as we got to take a trip to Chicago! It was also nice to have a fresh set of eyes and get feedback from judges who don’t know the history of East and West APPSE” said East APPSE Teaching Assistant, Luciana Perez. 

As of right now, it is unclear if East will earn a wildcard spot to the National Competition but they are satisfied with their performance. 

“It was disappointing to get state runner-up because I know hopes were high, but it was a great learning experience. I’m going to keep praying for the wildcard until we receive our results. But I think we did well despite that!” said East Unit 1/6 member, Alissa Novalija. 

For Wauwatosa West, they are celebrating their accomplishment knowing their hard work paid off. 

“It was such a hectic and busy week. I had no idea what I was walking into but when I heard that West got the win I was ecstatic and it was so rewarding to know that our work was good enough. It is honestly one of the most rewarding moments of my life,” said Kelly Weber, a member of Unit 6 from West. 

“I thought the kids had a phenomenal day today. The energy they brought feeding off of each group’s performance was contagious. The ability of the class to field the high level questions they were served was so fun to sit back and watch all the hard work payoff,” said Chad Mateske, teacher of the APPSE “We The People” course at West. 

This is Mateske’s last year teaching the course. After today’s performance, he says he wouldn’t have wanted his last State Competition to go any other way.

“I told the kids it was a great way to go out and that they made me, the school, and APPSE Nation proud,” Mateske continued.  “This group has big time talent and if they can set their mind to it, they could find themselves with a shot to be one of our best classes ever!”

Congratulations to both schools and good luck competing in the future!