08:41 AM

Central High School scores win in Show-Me the Constitution competition

Central High School in Springfield won top marks Dec. 8 when students vied online in The Missouri Bar’s Show-Me the Constitution competition. Second place was a tie between Joplin and Nixa High Schools. The contest was close with all three schools earning high scores for their efforts.  

The mock-Congressional hearing competition posed questions regarding Constitutional issues surrounding current events to 27 participating high school students. Teams then presented oral arguments to a panel of judges and answered additional questions evaluating their understanding of the Constitution. 

Central High School’s team included Brett Boney, Amin Finan, Gio Garcia, Elana Hadi, Eli Moody, and Benjamin Ondetti, as well as teacher, Joel Slingerland. 

Brett Boney, a junior who has been competing since her freshman year said she looks forward to the annual competition. 

“To me, this competition is a way to indulge my interest in the Constitution and learn about its relevance to our country and policies,” Boney said. “The questions are always challenging to answer and almost always end up being relevant to other things happening in my life. Practicing the skill of analyzing the Constitution and presenting arguments through cases and textual evidence has helped me in all of my classes, and I have this competition to thank for that.” 

The Missouri Bar introduced Show-Me the Constitution in 2015 but has coordinated a mock-congressional hearing competition since 1999. This program is sponsored by the Young Lawyers’ Section of The Missouri Bar and the state bar’s Citizenship Education program. 

Joe Goff, former judge and vice-chair of the Supreme Court of Missouri’s civic education committee said he is “amazed at the students’ level of engagement with the difficult materials they are given to research.” 

“Not only do they have to study and understand the material to make a presentation, but they must also answer the judges’ questions which reveals a deeper level of engagement with the issues,” Goff said. 

“What we witnessed today was not just a competition, it was preparation for things to come,” said Dr. Tony Simones, director of the Citizenship Education program. “The students who participated today are the citizen leaders of tomorrow. The judges, lawyers, and teachers who were involved in the competition were making an investment in a strong constitutional system for the future.”  

“Civic education is critical to our democracy and Show-Me the Constitution leads the way for Missouri’s high school students to engage with the difficult constitutional questions of our time,” added Goff. 

The Missouri Bar is a statewide organization that is dedicated to improving the legal profession, the law, and the administration of justice for all Missourians. Created in 1944 by order of the Supreme Court of Missouri, it serves all 30,500 of Missouri’s practicing attorneys. To learn more about The Missouri Bar, visit MoBar.org and MissouriLawyersHelp.org.  

Click here to learn more about the Missouri Bar’s Citizenship Education program.