Wauwatosa West APPSE students in Washington DC

The Wauwatosa School District is thrilled to share that students on Wauwatosa West High School’s American Public Policy Special Emphasis (APPSE) team achieved a fifth place finish at the national We the People: The Citizen and Constitution National Finals competition. This is the third consecutive year that West’s team has achieved a Top 10 ranking. 

On Tuesday, April 24, students enrolled in the APPSE course at Wauwatosa West High School competed in Washington, D.C. at the national We the People competition. At an awards ceremony held that evening, Wauwatosa West was named the fifth place finisher in the nation, out of 48 total schools. 

“Wauwatosa West has worked hard to develop a reputation for excellence at the We the People competition - both at a regional and national level,” stated Dr. Demond Means, Wauwatosa School District Superintendent. “The hard work, motivation and consistent support of our students enrolled in APPSE is incredible. They are extremely deserving of this outstanding accomplishment and should be celebrated.”

Members of the team, who will be recognized for their achievement at the Board of Education meeting scheduled for Monday, May 8,  include: Eli Baierl, Addison Bott, Natalia Byrne, Luke Callahan, Claire Davis, Thomas Foersterling, Parker Gugala, Claire Guttormson, Lilly Jahr, Alex Jaworski, Melina Keenan, Vishisht Khare, Allie Kratochvil, Zoe Kunz, Marisa Leveille, Griffin Long, Nico Long, Phoebe Mann, Vincent McMurtry, Sophie Monagle, Haley Perrin, Michael Pups, Connor Reynolds, Alexis Rogness, Emily Roy, Kelly Weber, Maddie Weber, Lily Weishaar and Jacob Zielinski.  Teaching Assistants include: Mallory Baish, Matthew Byrne, Sarah Cape, Logan Espinosa, Kira Kirby, Zach Nowacek, Amanda Schaefer and Conlan Welch.  Mentors of the team include: Tony Baish, Dan Hoefs, Mike Huitink, Erik Johnson, Lisa Lawless, Rebecca Salawdeh, Jynine Strand and Mark Young.  The team is coached by Chad Mateske. 

A full list of award-winning teams can be found here.

This is the fifth time in the 16 year history of the program that a Wauwatosa team earned a spot in the National Championship finals. In previous years, students from Wauwatosa West had finished fourth, ninth and tenth in the nation. 

American Public Policy Special Emphasis (APPSE) is a government/civic education course offered at both Wauwatosa East and West. The class takes an in-depth look at government structure, rights, court cases and current events as students prepare for the Center for Civic Education's annual We the People competition. Students in the class break off into six distinct learning groups that research, write and learn to argue and defend stances on historical, political and social issues.  

The We the People: The Citizen and Constitution National Finals is a national academic competition that gives students an opportunity to display the civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to effectively participate in our constitutional democratic republic through simulated congressional hearings. Approximately one thousand students from forty-eight schools participated in hearings during the National Finals on April 22-24, 2023.