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Valley Heights Journalism
Thursday, February 21, 2019

WE THE SENIORS. Valley Heights Seniors compete at the “We The People” Competition, sponsored by the Center for Civic Education, at Kansas State University. Tuesday, the twelfth, the senior class traveled to Manhattan to present their unit essays. “We The People” is a Government class curriculum used with Mr. Whitson’s seniors. This competition gives seniors across the state the opportunity to participate in hearings. A month in advance, students were separated into groups of four or five and assigned a specific unit from the book. Each unit has two questions paired with it. The students then write a response to the question, adding in detail, historical context, and modern-day examples. Once the students had a prepared opening statement, they traveled to Manhattan to present in front of a panel of judges. Each group read their paper to three judges. After they finished, the judges have an allotted time to ask questions and promote discussion. When the time was up, judges gave feedback to help the students in the future. “I am proud of the class as a whole because they did well incorporating contemporary issues and displaying a differing of opinion,” says Mr. Whitson. He continues describing how to be successful in the competition by saying, “Good research at the beginning, collaborating between partners, and being able to think on your feet set students up for success.” All groups performed well, with the Unit 3 group received a Distinguished Award, competing against ten other schools.  “I wish I could go back and do it again now that I know what the experience is like, but I learned a lot and got to express my opinions so that was fun,” says senior, Konner Treff.