85 students and teachers from high schools around the state took part in a
luncheon last Friday at the West Des Moines Marriott in West Des Moines
honoring the students for being finalists in the 2016 Know Your Constitution
program. Five of those finalists, selected in a random drawing, will spend the
week of Feb. 14-19 in Washington, D.C., learning more about government through
a program sponsored by the Close-up Foundation.
than 900 students representing Iowa’s state legislative districts
completed the multiple choice and essay questions on the U.S.
were part of this year’s contest. From the 900, the top 100 were
selected to attend last Friday's luncheon. The annual contest is
sponsored by the Young
Lawyers Division of The Iowa State Bar Association.
Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins was the keynote speaker at the luncheon.
After briefly discussing the different roles of the three branches of U.S.
government, he focused on the judiciary’s role as referee to ensure that no one
can violate an individual’s rights guaranteed by the constitution.
the Know Your Constitution program focuses on the U.S. Constitution, Justice
Wiggins urged the students to check Iowa’s Constitution as well. State
constitutions often provide more protections than the U.S. Constitution, he
Photo Caption: Four of the five students
and their teachers who are headed to Washington, D.C. as part of the YLD Know
Your Constitution program stand with committee co-chairs Sam Langholz (far
left) and Bob Gainer (far right) and Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins
(second from left). Teachers and their students are (from left) John Drake and
Danielle McComas, Lewis Central High School; Mandie Reynolds and Lindsey White,
Riverside High School; Roland Schmidt and Ben Wetzeler, Spirit Lake High
School; and Sarah Carlson and Jenis Jusufovic, Peet Jr. High School, Cedar
Falls. Not pictured are student Lexie Schulz and teacher Bill Shafer from
Central Springs High School.