CHS Capstone Team Competes First Time in Ten Years

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Fourteen students and two teachers from Cody High School attended the state Capstone (We The People) competition last week placing fifth. This is the first time in over ten years a team from Cody made it to state.

“It was really overwhelming because we were under dogs completely,” said senior Rebecca Brantz. “It was kind of fun proving them wrong, that we actually could go to state. We didn’t get last, so we held our own against pretty elite teams.”

Brantz participated in units one and two. She did a lot of research and took on a great deal of responsibility in writing the papers.

Capstone is a congressional hearing where students are given several topics that they need to discuss and defend from a governmental standpoint. The topics are the units the government class covers. After groups are given their topics and start research, they then write three papers about the topics.

“We put a lot of time into it. I think that the group of people we had very much wanted to be exceptional; they want to be exceptional at everything they do. So, it carried over into our Capstone,” said Brantz.

The group is given their questions and start preparing in Sept. and in Nov. the local competition is placed for all American Government classes to compete in. Whoever wins, goes to the district competition in Casper. The top three at districts get to go to the state competition.

“…I’m proud of the kids more or less,” said coach John Corbin. “They worked really hard, they did a lot of research, they went and interviewed people and really stepped up.”

According to Corbin the team made it to state due to their diligence and the new way the challenging competition was taught. Instead of just devoting Fridays to working on the competition, they worked on presenting and such throughout the week.

The congressional hearing style is also now taught in World History.

“Its different content but it’s the same idea. It’s the same preparation, same answer periods. Those types of things get our students getting used to the level of rigor that is asked for,” said Corbin.

He also said that they’re working on incorporating this idea into US History Two and at the middle school level. All of this will increase the likelihood for students to make it to state in the future.

Corbin received the new Teacher of the Year award for getting Cody to state. He won a trip to nationals in Washington, D.C., here he will learn new techniques to become a better coach.

“These guys really worked well together; they worked for each other. They were an amazing team. It seemed like everyone was friends and just happy to be there. They were already a team before they were told to be one,” said Corbin.