easthampton high school

(Western Mass News Photo)

EASTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WHSM) -- Thousands of events have been canceled across western Mass due to social distancing protocols.

Luckily for the students at Easthampton High School, a national competition about the United States Constitution was still held virtually.

The group "We the People" qualified for nationals this year after winning the state championship.

Western Mass News caught up with their teacher after their competition.

Easthampton High School’s We the People team was competing for a win in this year's national championship.

“Easthampton High School has attended the national championship four times, if you include this year. We went the last two years, and this is our third year in a row winning the state championship,” said Kelly Brown, teacher at the school.

Typically, nationals are held in Washington D.C., but this year, due to the coronavirus, the competition was held virtually for the first time.

“The students were absolutely unbelievable. They did an amazing job despite the circumstances. We have been practicing since school got out on zoom every day for about three hours,” she said.

Brown told Western Mass News that this year went exceptionally well given the circumstances.

“The way that the competition works is that students are placed into units and teams of three and four, and each unit had a separate Zoom meeting. And so students would go into the Zoom meeting with me and some judges would come in, and they were from all over the country -- lawyers, judges, professors,” she said.

Brown explained the students put in way too much work for the event to be canceled, plus it gave students something fun and exciting to look forward to.

“The center is incredibly committed to this program. They understand how changing it is for students and how much time students put into it,” she said.

Brown said this year’s teams were actually at an advantage.

“What was difficult was not having the opportunities to be together in class and not having the opportunities to interact, but in some way, sure there was an advantage to be able to spend and put more time aside,” she said.

Although this year was a little different competing in the comfort of their own homes, Brown said it was all worth it.

“We just spent about 20 minutes processing, and the tears and the joy that students expressed, not once did it come up that they were disappointed, that they didn't go to Washington D.C. It was all about what they have taken from this process and how it has made them better people,” she said.

The winners will be announced Monday at 8 p.m.

The team plans to have party through Zoom.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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