A class meets in the new lounge at Central Catholic High School. Photo: Ed Langlois/Catholic Sentinel
A class meets in the new lounge at Central Catholic High School. Photo: Ed Langlois/Catholic Sentinel
Central Catholic academic and athletic programs benefit students beyond the classroom or practice field, preparing them for the future. For example, the Central Catholic social studies department hosts activities and events to broaden students’ understanding of social justice in relation to American culture and everyday life —through politics.

Over the past few years, social studies teachers have worked to build up the Democracy in Action event, the Constitution team and mock trial to give students opportunities to understand the many sides of political issues, ask questions, and take part in friendly debate.

“These programs and experiences provide our students the opportunity to grow into their roles as active and engaged citizens of their community, the country and the world,” says Geoffrey Stuckart, social studies teacher and Constitution team coach.

Democracy in Action, held once a year at the school, brings more than 20 elected officials, representatives of political parties, and good government groups to set up booths in the gymnasium. Students meet officials, ask questions and learn more about political initiatives.

The Constitution team competes in the We the People program, a nationwide competition focused on public speaking and knowledge of government, current events and the U.S. Constitution. Oregon is top-ranked in the nationwide program and Central Catholic took second place at the regional competition this year and will compete at the state competition.

Mock Trial students take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses to act out legal cases. That builds an understanding of the justice system while helping students build valuable public speaking skills.

All the programs are meant to instill in students the values of service to others and the need for community engagement.