Austin Czechowski and fellow New Visions: Law & Government students win regional competition
Cobleskill-Richmondville High School student Austin Czechowski and his classmates in the Capital Region BOCES Career & Technical School’s New Visions: Law & Government program outperformed nearly 40 of their peers on Jan. 10 to win the regional “We The People: The Citizen and the Constitution” competition at Albany Law School.
They will now proceed to the statewide competition in Albany on Feb. 7.
This is the fourth year the class has competed and the fourth year it has won the regional competition and advanced to the state finals.
To win, the New Visions: Law & Government students, who attend the program for a half-day and their home high schools the other half, had to explain the philosophical and historical foundations on which the American political system is based.
During a simulated congressional hearing, the students “testified” before a panel of judges to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles, and they evaluated, took, and defended positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues.
The 10 New Visions: Law & Government students competed and won against a 36-student honors class “We The People” team from Shenendehowa High School.
In addition to Austin Czechowski , the winning New Visions: Law & Government student team includes Vincent Caruso from Averill Park, Jeremy Clement from Troy, Thomas Fischer from Berne-Knox-Westerlo, Keily Linger from Windham-Ashland-Jewett, Emilia Sacco from Schalmont, David Simon from Catskill, Kenneth Stevenson from Coxsackie-Athens, Emily Taylor from Cohoes and Keefe Watson from East Greenbush.
According to their teacher, attorney Richard W. Bader, “the New Visions: Law & Government students prepared for the competition in part by studying ‘We The People: The Citizen and Constitution’, an intensive curriculum focusing on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”
New Visions: Law & Government is a unique, career-exploration and honors A.P. and college-credit-granting program offered by the Capital Region BOCES Career & Technical School for honors-level, college-bound high school seniors.
In a classroom located at the State Education Building in downtown Albany, New Visions: Law & Government students study an integrated curriculum of advanced coursework in political science, law, English and economics, with government and law-related internships, job shadowing, field trips, community service and competitions. Students learn firsthand about the executive, legislative and judicial branches of New York State government as well as about the private legal sector.
Applications for the program are being sought through March 20 from high school juniors for the 2015-16 school year. A Open House will also be conducted on Feb. from 8:30- 10:30 a.m. at the Capital Region Career and Technical Education Center, building B, 1015 Watervliet-Shaker Rd., Colonie. An evening open house for all New Visions programs will be held at the same location on from 6-8 p.m. on March 4.