|1/18/2011 2:46:00 PM|
Constitutional Law Club forms at De La Salle North
De La Salle North Catholic High School photo
Christine Trinh, Lorena Hernandez, Abby Owens and Cydnie Smith-McCarthy at De La Salle's Constitution Club.
Last week, students from De La Salle North Catholic High School took part in their inaugural district We the People Constitution Competition. Members of De La Salle North’s newly-minted Constitution Club sharpened their skills during the event, in which students participate in a mock congressional hearing before a panel of judges.
The club was started a few months ago by Edward Zupcic, the U.S. history and global studies teacher who wanted to “offer students an opportunity to hone their intellectual skills and compete with other students, continuing to prepare them for college.”
Though the team is only weeks old and has had to work hard to acquire needed knowledge, De La Salle North students prepared a four minute response to the question: "Why didn't delegates to the Constitutional Convention in 1787 not abolish slavery?" The team responded to questions from judges about their answer for a total of six minutes, using knowledge of the Constitution and history, as well as logic and persuasion.
Abby Owens, a junior member of the team, has been pleased that “during practice, judges have been impressed with all that the team has learned and commended us on the amount of material that we know.”
De La Salle North students are accustomed to juggling responsibilities and operating in a professional environment because they work in corporate internships.
Jim Westwood , a partner at the law firm Stoel Rives and a long-time supporter of De La Salle North’s mission, signed on to be the team advisor.
“These students are really special," Westwood says. "In ten years of coaching Constitution teams, I haven’t met a group of more eager, committed young scholars. They’re a wonderful model for future teams at De La Salle North and for society in general.”