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March 11, 2011

NEW YORK STATE STUDENTS COMPETE IN NATIONAL COMPETITION ON CONSTITUTION

ALBANY-Students from Half Hollow Hills East High School (Dix Hills) will represent New York State in the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution National Finals, the highly prestigious academic competition on the U.S. Constitution, in Washington D.C.

Half Hollow Hills, under the guidance of their teacher David Pitman, earned the best score of the nine high schools that attended New York State Final Hearings in Albany on March 5. Panels of judges, 18 in all, rated participating students on their knowledge of the Constitution and their ability to relate today's news and court cases to their knowledge of the Constitution.

 The other eight schools (and their awards) were:
• Forest Hills High School; Tara Kelly, teacher - Second Place
• James Madison High School, Brooklyn; Stacey Azoff, teacher - Third Place
• Smithtown High School West; Joseph Gatto, teacher - Unit 1 award
• St. Francis Preparatory School, Fresh Meadows; Michael Wagner, teacher - Unit 2 award
• Westfield Academy and Central School; Greg Birner, teacher - Unit 3 award
• Edward R. Murrow High School, Brooklyn; Susana Giberga, teacher - Unit 4 award
• Shenendehowa High School East, Clifton Park; Tammy Crump and Amber Quinn, teachers - Unit 5 award
• Clarkstown Senior High School South, Nyack; James T. Russell, teacher - Unit 6 award

The first round of the national finals will be held in Arlington, Virginia, April 30-May 1. Constitutional scholars, lawyers, and government leaders, acting as congressional committee members, will judge the students' performances. The combined scores from the first two days of hearings will determine which ten classes will compete in the championship round Monday, May 2, in Senate hearing rooms on Capitol Hill.

The State Bar Association's Law, Youth and Citizenship Program (LYC), the third-largest civics and law-related education program in the country, administers the nationwide program in New York.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education and directed by the Center for Civic Education in Woodland Hills, CA, the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program has reached more than 30 million students and 81,000 teachers since its inception in 1987.

The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association, the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation, was founded in 1876.

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