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Bar News - February 8, 2008

Milford High School Moves on to National “We the People…”



Parents and students of Milford High School celebrate their victory at the 2008 "We the People...the Citizen and the Constitution" competition on Jan. 11 in Concord.
Students from Nashua North, John Stark Regional and Milford High Schools braved wind and sleet to make their way to the Legislative Office Building in Concord to compete in the 2008 NH state finals of the “We the People…The Citizen and the Constitution” competition on Jan. 11.

The competition, formatted in the same manner as the district competition, is much like a congressional hearing, where panelists—the school teams—testify before, and are judged by, a “congressional” panel.


The students’ “testimony” is based on their study of the US Constitution throughout the school year. Topics cover any part of the founding document. They then receive a list of potential questions to be asked by the judges and prepare brief presentations based on that list. They do not know at the time of their preparation which questions will be asked, so they must be ready to answer them all.


Judges, who receive a list of questions that they can ask students, choose one, pose it to the students, await the students’ response and then ask their own questions regarding the subject matter they have chosen. During this secondary questioning, students must improvise and think on their feet, utilizing the knowledge that they’ve acquired during class study and competition preparation.


Judicial panels at the event include a wide array of members from the legal, political and educational community. Among the panelists at the Jan. 11 event were justices of the NH Supreme Court, educators, attorneys, retired justices and diplomats and members of the state legislature.


Students warmed the cold January day with debate over the nature of a representative democracy. Howard Zibel, NH Supreme Court counsel and long-time supporter of the program, believes that this is just the kind of thing young people should be focused on.


“The value of the program is the knowledge that the students take away [from the experience],” said Zibel. “They learn to think critically about the Constitution and how the government works.”


At the end of the day, with students tired, nervous and excited, they were brought into a hearing room where Director of the New Hampshire Bar Foundation David Snyder announced the winning team, Milford High School. The Milford team will represent New Hampshire on May 3 at the national competition in Washington, D.C. 


Snyder presented the students with a check for $1,000 to assist them in raising funds for their trip to Washington in the spring.


NHBA Thanks Volunteers


The Bar Association would like to thank those that helped with the “We the People…” events, as judges and as support volunteers. Without their assistance, the events, coverage, and most importantly, the education of all involved, would not have taken place. Thank you.

December 14, 2007
District Competition


Attorney Jeffrey M. Brown
Attorney George Bruno
Mr. Marshall Cobleigh
Attorney Craig Donais
Justice James Duggan
Attorney Marin Honigberg
Attorney Denise M. Jobe
Attorney Barbara Keshen
Senator Robert Letourneau
Attorney Amy Mackin
Attorney Evan Mulholland
Attorney Edward D. Philpot,
Honorable Arthur Robbins
Attorney F. Anne Ross
Attorney Steven R. Sacks
 Attorney Ellen Shemitz
Attorney Kathleen A. Sternenberg
Representative Nancy Stiles
Attorney Thomas Tsirimokos
Attorney Jon Wallner
Attorney Howard J. Zibel


January 11, 2008
State Finals Competition


Attorney Kenneth J. Barnes
Chief Justice John T. Broderick,
Attorney George Bruno
Attorney Joceline Champagne
Attorney Donna Daneke
Attorney Michael Delaney
Attorney Craig Donais
Mr. John Ellis
Attorney Gary Harding
Attorney Martin Honigberg
Honorable David O. Huot
Attorney Denise Jobe
Attorney Barbara Keshen
Ms. Laura Kiernan
Attorney Laurie Lacoste
Senator Robert Letourneau
Attorney Amy Mackin
Attorney Marcia McCormack
Attorney Evan Mulholland
Attorney Becky Oleson
Attorney Esther B. Piszczek
Attorney Chris Pyles
Honorable Arthur Robbins
Attorney Dan Schwarz
Attorney Ellen Shemitz
Attorney Kathleen A. Sternenberg
Attorney Jane F. Taylor
Attorney Tom Tsirimokos
Attorney Ronna F. Wise
Attorney Howard J. Zibel




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