Highlands High School wins state 'We the People' competition, earns bid to nationals

By Madelin Shelton

Louisville, Ky. (January 31, 2024) – Reigning state champion Highlands High School, of Ft. Thomas, Ky., will head to nationals once again after winning Tuesday’s We the People state competition.

The annual state competition was hosted by the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville. Two schools participated: Highlands High School, coached by Megan Boimann-Hennies, and West Jessamine High School, coached by James Botts.

To prepare for the competition, students researched and studied U.S. constitutional history and principles through the We the People program. They showcased their knowledge by competing in mock congressional hearings, which were judged by current McConnell Scholars, local professionals, and McConnell Scholar alumni.

The Highlands High School team will now participate in the We the People National Finals, held at the National Conference Center in Washington, D.C., April 13-15.

"This year's We the People competition showcased some incredibly impressive students with an evident commitment to studying our Constitution and our government," said Meghan Waters, Director of External Education for the McConnell Center. "At a time when civic health across the Commonwealth and across the country is woefully deficient, it is incredibly encouraging to see so many young citizens who are taking an active role in their civic education."

Longtime educator Glenn Manns serves as the Kentucky state director of the We the People program and organized the annual competition alongside Waters.

Participants on the winning Highlands High School team include:

  • Chanuthmi Abeysinghe
  • Paige Barber
  • Owen Borden
  • Henry Campbell
  • Rowan Cavanaugh
  • Treiston Collins
  • Ethan Davis
  • John Dougherty
  • Cohen Gessner
  • Bradley Groneck
  • Ryan Groneck
  • Samantha Heilman
  • Kaylee Humphress
  • Lilly Leising
  • Anna McCoy
  • Deven McKim
  • Reagan McPhedran
  • William Oldiges
  • Jack Street
  • Lucas Tinkler
  • Grace Wissman