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This past week I had the great pleasure of being with young people from Stevensville High School as they presented a community hearing of the "We the People" competition.

Acting as a judge for these six teams of excellent students was certainly not an easy task. We hear so very much negative press about our young people today that it was incredibly refreshing to be with these students.

They are part of We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, a national program, led by their teacher, Wes Wells. It is so encouraging to see the knowledge and skills of presentation of these high school students. The Stevensville community should be very pleased with the support of superintendent Bob Moore, principal Brian Gum and especially teacher Wes Wells.

My husband, Ed, and I have been honored to act as judges in the past and have learned and seen the passion Wells has for this program and these students. The program is after the regular school day. The students have committed to the program knowing the time they will have to invest will be added on to their already busy schedules.

The program promotes civic competence and responsibility among our nation’s students. The material is tough! There are six units made up of from three to six students. One unit title is "What are the Philosophical and Historical Foundations of the American Political System"? Another is "What Challenges Might Face American Constitutional Democracy in the 21st Century"? How many of us could answer these?

So there the kids sat, at a table with their notebooks primed, ready to refer to them once one of the judges asked a question. They did not know ahead of time what question we would choose to ask. They were prepared. Composed. Well-spoken. Gracious.

I am so very proud of these kids. Good luck to each of you as you compete with others from around the state.

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Rep. Sharon Greef, R-Florence, represents House District 88 in the Montana Legislature. 

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