We The People


Henri Boudreau

A.P. Government students stand in front of the New Hampshire State House after their district hearing. “The hearings are exciting but certainly nerve racking,” said Josh Ide ‘20.

Peyton Arbogast, Staff Writer

We The People is a national competition held every year between high school students throughout the United States. This year, A.P. Government and Politics students from Hollis-Brookline High School had another opportunity to participate in the competition.

The competition began with district hearings held on Dec. 6 and a state final on Jan. 10. 

Trevor Duval, Social Studies teacher at Hollis-Brookline, led his team of A.P. Gov. students, with a genuine love for studying their government, into their district hearing session.

The competition consists of a district meet, a state hearing and then, if the state’s winning school desires, onto a final hearing session in the nation’s capital. Last year, H.B. came up short and placed second to Milford in the state hearing, but their state victory last Friday has brought a new kid to the neighborhood. 

During all district, state, and national hearings, students ‘testify’ in front of a panel of judges. They are judged based on their understanding, reasoning, responsiveness and use of constitutional application to the wide-variety of questions that will be asked. 

In preparation for the competition, students learn about the United States Government and study the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights in order to prepare a response to a variety of questions. 

A hearing consists of a four-minute opening statement and a six-minute period for an open question and answer session between participating students and members of the New Hampshire Bar Association. Since the questions from the judges aren’t disclosed prior to the hearing, students are required to prepare their arguments based on a multitude of issues relating to their topic. 

“Before the competition, we spent weeks editing and revising our prepared statements. We researched current events related to our subject, and had the opportunity to practice our hearing in front of several other community members,” said Henri Boudreau ‘20, A.P. Gov. student.

Students and Duval traveled to the Legislative Office Building in Concord, New Hampshire on Dec. 6 and Jan. 10. After many hours of congressional hearings and government related questions, Hollis-Brookline emerged from the competition with the title of state champions.

Hollis-Brookline now has the opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. and represent NH at the national final. However, due to the event’s proximity to February break and its high cost, it’s probable that students won’t choose to participate.