Richmond's Maggie L. Walker Governor's School Ranks Third in National Civics Competition


The Montpelier Foundation is thrilled to announce that the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies of Richmond, Virginia placed third in the 27th Annual We the People National Finals held on April 25-28 in Washington, DC. We the People is a nationally acclaimed civic education program that helps students understand the history, philosophies, and evolution of our constitutional government.

Judges, attorneys, legislators, college professors, and other community leaders judged the competition, evaluating students’ knowledge and understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, including their historical context and impact in contemporary politics and current affairs. 

This was the fifteenth time Maggie L. Walker Governor's School has represented Virginia in the We the People national competition. Each of the fifteen times, the school made the top ten. They won the competition outright in 2003 and 2011. Student Matthew King says, “We the People transforms high school students into poised, polished constitutional experts. The program challenges us to think critically and delve deep into original documents. In a republic founded on civic virtue, civic education is essential to developing the next generation of citizens and leaders.” The school’s team was taught this year by Samuel Ulmschneider, an alumnus of the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School and a former We the People competitor.

Final results were announced at an awards ceremony on Monday evening. Lincoln High School from Portland, Oregon placed first, and Amador Valley High School from Pleasanton, California placed second. Other winners include (in ranking order): Fishers High School, Indiana; Vestavia Hills High School, Alabama; East Grand Rapids High School, Michigan; Grandview High School, Colorado; Maine Township South High School, Illinois; Corona del Sol High School, Arizona; and Highlands High School, New Mexico. The Montpelier Foundation applauds all of the students who participated in the competition for their outstanding work throughout the year, and for their demonstration of civic knowledge.

As part of its initiative to elevate civic engagement among America’s youth, Montpelier’s Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution hosts the program in Virginia and Washington, D.C. and offers free professional development seminars to teachers who are interested in the curriculum each summer. Since its inception in 1987, more than 28 million students and 75,000 educators nationwide have participated in the We the People programs sponsored by the curriculum authors, the Center for Civic Education. Read more about the competition here.


Caroline Godfrey