CHARLESTON – Clay County High School students won first place honors at the “We The People” state competition Dec. 15 at the Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse in Charleston.

The 12 students in the AP Government and Politics class, taught by Philip Dobbins, will represent West Virginia in the national competition in Washington, D.C., in April 2016.

The “We The People” program has been in existence for more than a quarter-century and focuses on high school students achieving greater civic knowledge and attitudes through learning about constitutional principles and good citizenship. This culminating activity was in the form of a mock Congressional hearing.

This is the second year in a row that Clay County High School has been the statewide winner.

Rebecca Tinder, the state coordinator for “We The People” and an attorney with Bowles Rice, commended the students for their outstanding performance and the teaching leadership of Dobbins. She also praised Circuit Court Judge Jack Alsop and Clay attorney Mike Asbury, who assisted in judging the district event and gave guidance and advice to the students as they prepared for the state competition.

The students were presented their awards from U.S. District Court Judge Thomas E. Johnston in the Ceremonial Courtroom at the federal courthouse, with the judge making comments to them regarding the importance of being good citizens. At the opening ceremony, Fred Joseph, 2nd Congressional District Director for U. S. Congressman Alex Mooney, gave remarks on behalf of the Congressman.

Bowles Rice is a full-service law firm with 140 attorneys serving clients from eight offices located in Charleston, Martinsburg, Morgantown, Parkersburg and Wheeling in West Virginia; Southpointe, Pa; Lexington, Ky.; and Winchester, Va.

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