Sudbury Wins Annual Civics Bee
Victory makes it three in a row for Sudbury.
The Sudbury team captured the trophy in the annual League of Women Voters Civics Bee for the third straight year.
The Weston team was second, followed by the Wayland team in a close contest Sunday, March 3, at the Weston Community Center. Wayland and Weston have each won the trophy once.
The Civics Bee, now in its fifth year, is sponsored by the Leagues of Sudbury, Wayland and Weston. Teams of middle school students, high school students and adults from each town test their knowledge of state and federal government. This year, with all three towns celebrating or preparing for major anniversaries of their founding, the teams also handled a section on the history of each town.
Ali Stahr, a Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School student, was competing in her second Civics Bee; she was on the Sudbury team in middle school as well. “It’s hard work, but we get a great background through school. We had to memorize the Preamble to the Constitution in middle school.”
Abby Wight, a student at Curtis Middle School in Sudbury, credited Mary Mahoney, a history teacher there and coach, for the students’ strong preparation, holding up a “giant packet” of study materials. She’d like to participate in the Bee again “because I love history and I want to be an historian.”
The group exercise during the Bee required each team to arrange an envelope full of words and phrases into an historic quote. The quote turned out to be the first sentence of the Preamble of the Constitution, and Aiden Merrill-Skoloff, a Curtis Middle School student, conceded it was a good thing his mother had made him memorize the Preamble.
Jane Moeller, one of Sudbury’s adult team members, encouraged other adults to participate on future Civics Bee teams.
“I’ve been very nervous and studying, but I learned a lot. And it’s been wonderful to be with these young people,” Moeller said.
The Sudbury team was made up of middle-school students Emmett Alkasab, Emma Anderson, Matthew Bowen, Aiden Merrill-Skoloff, Dylan Quirk and Abby Wight; high-school students Jeremy Cohen, Natasha Kadlec, Ali Stahr and Emily Thomas; and adults David Kerrigan, Ursula Lyons and Jane Moeller.
Richard Albert, an assistant professor of constitutional law at Boston College School of Law, served as judge for the fourth year. Jo-Ann Berry, co-chair of the League of Women Voters of the Acton Area, was Bee Master or moderator, and Katty Chace, president of the Weston League, was chair of this year’s Bee committee.
The Civics Bee was videotaped for broadcast on the local cable television channels in the three towns in the near future.
Next year, the sixth annual Civics Bee will be held in Sudbury.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization which encourages informed and active participation in government and works to increase understanding of major public policy issues.