Lincoln's Constitution team wins national championship

Lincoln's Constitution team wins national championship
Photo by B. Scott Anderson,

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A little more than a week after a team of Lincoln High School students clinched the national championship in an event that tests students' knowledge of the U.S. Constitution, the team was honored Wednesday by the City of Portland.

The Lincoln team won the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution competition April 30 after three days of simulated congressional hearings in Washington, D.C.

"This is a huge honor for Lincoln, for PPS, for Portland and for the state of Oregon," wrote Lincoln Principal Peyton Chapman, who attended the competition, in an email to families and staff.

Students returned May 1, greeted by a crowd of supporters at Portland International Airport. The team marched, led by the school's marching band, to Portland City Hall Wednesday morning to be recognized by the City Council. Portland Mayor Sam Adams also proclaimed May 9 as Lincoln High School Constitution Team Day.

Lincoln has won nationals four times, its last title coming in 1996. Lincoln and Grant High School, also a perennially strong contender, regularly qualify for the national tournament through an annual state competition.

Law experts judged students' performance in the national competition. Students in the event represented schools across the nation.

Lincoln teacher Tim Swinehart coached the team with assistance from more than a dozen parents and community members.

It was truly a team effort, Chapman said.

"Our students and dedicated lawyer coaches did an incredible job preparing for this competition," she said.