The competitive civics teams from both Amador Valley and Foothill high schools are heading to Washington, D.C. in April, representing California for the "We the People" national finals.
Amador won the state regionals while Foothill placed second in the same tournament, held in Bakersfield on Feb. 1-2. As the winner, Amador automatically earned a spot at the national competition, while Foothill was chosen as a wild-card selection to also compete in D.C.
The finals will be held from April 27 to May 1.
"We are extremely proud of our Amador and Foothill student competitors," Superintendent David Haglund said. "It almost goes without saying that to have our high school teams take both the first- and second-place prizes in the state competition is a testament to the hours of preparation put in by our awesome students and the dedication of their amazing teachers."
"We the People" is a competitive civics program sponsored by the Center for Civic Education, a California-based nonprofit that advocates for citizens around the globe to actively participate in democracy.
This is the first year that both Amador and Foothill have made it to the national finals in the same year.
But it was almost not to be for Foothill. In a mishap at the state competition, some of the score cards were mixed up, initially landing Foothill in fourth place until the error was discovered and rectified the following Monday, according to Shoni Johnson, a parent of one of the Foothill competitors.
Scores were calculated out of a maximum 2,000 points, with Amador earning a final total of 1,880 points and Foothill just behind at 1,876, Johnson said. The Foothill students were ultimately given a wild-card berth into nationals based on their performance at state.
Both teams' coaches commended their students for exceptional effort in preparing for the competition.
"The team worked extraordinarily hard this year and did an excellent job in the face of some very tough competition," Amador coach Stacey Sklar said of her team. "California has a relatively strong program, so to earn a spot at nationals is truly an accomplishment."
Added Foothill's coach Jeremy Detamore of his team, "This is a tremendous group of students who have given their all since day one. I'm proud of all they have accomplished and feel very lucky to have gone on this journey with them."
"They've set a high bar for future Foothill We the People classes to meet," he said.