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Corona del Sol
Government Team Earns 15th State Championship Title, Trip to
Corona del Sol High School’s boys basketball team isn’t the only one on campus that can claim a fourth straight state championship. We the People, Corona’s competition government team has also achieved a four-peat.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey recently honored the government students, inviting them to the ceremonial signing of the American Civics Act in the historic Senate Chambers of the Arizona Capitol Museum. In late April, the team will represent Arizona at the 28th Annual We the People National Finals in Washington D.C.
Corona has a long tradition of quality competition government teams, earning 15 state titles and six top ten finishes at the national finals.
“It feels great to be part of this legacy, but before the [state] competition, it was very nerve-wracking. No one wanted to be the team who ended the great streak that everyone before us had cultivated,” said Senior Katie Holste.
We the People, the Citizen and Constitution Program that began in 1987, promotes civic competence and responsibility among students. They study the challenges that face our democratic republic today and then prepare for a “simulated congressional hearing” where they present a four-minute statement followed by questions from a panel of legal scholars.
Corona del Sol Senior Niharika Jain says the program empowers students as most are turning 18 and can register to vote for the first time.
“The program allows you to be more politically aware to make good, informed decisions. It's important to me personally because it's one of the greatest opportunities I've had in high school to learn,” she said. “It’s vital to fostering a generation of engaged citizens.”
Corona’s team of 29 students is led by Social Studies teacher Alison Rund. She said her students gain valuable speaking and critical-thinking skills.
“I could not be more proud of the students,” Coach Rund said. “Yes, they achieved an amazing feat of a fourth straight state title, but the individual growth that each student has experienced is what is most impressive. They now know more about American history, philosophy and constitutional law than most first-year law students.”
While Holste plans to be a high school music teacher, some of Corona del Sol’s We the People alumni go on to work in Washington D.C. and on Capitol Hill. Many come back to help the current team. Holste credits that alumni participation for the program’s long-standing success.
“The amount of people that I could list who have taken time to read over our speeches and go over rebuttal questions with us is unfathomable,” Holste said.
Rund includes the countless hours fellow Corona del sol teachers Justine Centanni and Lisa Adams have spent preparing the kids for competition, calling them invaluable.
The team is fundraising for the trip to Nationals, which is expected to cost more than $65,000. An online fundraising account has been set up at www.youcaring.com - search “Corona del Sol.”