Wisconsin Civics Games regional winners advance to Feb. 23 finals in Madison

MADISON – Nearly 100 students from 25 schools competed today in the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation’s Civics Games regional competitions. 

Students prepare to participate in the WNA Foundation’s Civics Games regional competition today at UW-Madison. (Kimberly Wethal photo)

The teams, each comprising up to four students, faced off head-to-head to answer questions about the state budget, local elections, legislative term limits, quorums and other civics-related issues. Competitions were held at UW-Eau Claire, Barron County, UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison and UW-Platteville.

Ten teams — the two top-scoring teams from each region — advance to the Wisconsin Civics Games championship on Feb. 23 at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison.

Each member of the state championship winning team will receive a $2,000 scholarship to a Wisconsin college or university. 

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The WNA Foundation Board of Directors hopes the Civics Games, which were launched in an effort to address a decline in civic education and engagement, will inspire a new generation of leaders to become involved in the political process. 

The Region 4 competition, which was set to take place at UW-Milwaukee, was canceled Thursday after school disruptions caused by this week’s frigid temperatures prompted several schools to withdraw today from the competition. Only two schools remained: Big Foot High School and Muskego High School, both of which will advance to the finals.

The WNA Foundation would like to thank all of the Civics Games sponsors, volunteers, judges, newspapers and participating schools who have helped make the inaugural event a reality. 

The Games are done in partnership with WisconsinEye, Wisconsin Policy Forum, the Girl Scout Councils of Wisconsin, and the five UW campuses: UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Green Bay, UW-Platteville and UW-Eau Claire, Barron County.

Civics Games sponsors include the Evjue Foundation, Center for the Study of Institutions & Innovation, League of Wisconsin Municipalities, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Local Government Institute of Wisconsin, Polco, Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership, Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies, and the Wisconsin Counties Association.

The two top-scoring teams from today’s regional competitions advance to the finals Feb. 23 in Madison. They are (an asterisk denotes the regional winner): 

Region 1: UW-Eau Claire, Barron County

Black River Falls High School*
Sam Lund (Captain)
Zoe Dal Cerro
Graham Rockouski
Madeline Diehn
Caleb Laufenberg

Osceola High School
Morgan Johnson (Captain)
Isabella Osterbauer
Emily Jaroscak

Region 2: UW-Green Bay

Northland Pines High School*
Annalise Callaghan (Captain)
Thomas Priefer
Kristin Shaars 
Tanner Kiesow

Ashwaubenon High School
Bennett Schuster (Captain)
Tahlia Micoley
Emily DeLaurelle
Randell Johnson

Region 3: UW-Platteville

Platteville High School*
Liam Reinicke (Captain)
Alex Sonsalla
Spencer Olds
Jacob Sherer

Cassville High School
Melody Hampton (Captain)
Ezra Okey
Kendra Rouse
Moria Kasper-Theisen

Region 4: UW-Madison

Madison Memorial High School*
Cory Forbes (Captain)
Alex Blue

Waunakee High School
Alyssa Beery (Captain)
Thomas Pyle
Sam Kaufmann
Sam Korth

Region 5: UW-Milwaukee

Milwaukee regional competitions were canceled after all but two teams withdrew. The remaining two teams automatically advance to the finals. 

Big Foot High School
Tiffany Cruz (Captain)
Nick Lang
Tonya Gurnica

Muskego High School
Kevin LaGrow (Captain)
Ryan Leifer
Isaac Ozolins
Colbey Kuchler