I am the district coordinator for the "We the People" program, the purpose of which is to promote the teaching of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in our area school systems. I was responsible for organizing a Regional Simulated Hearing for "We the People" at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown on Jan.8. The Somerset County Bar Association sponsored the event for the second straight year. Schools from the area came to demonstrate their knowledge of our Constitution through simulated congressional hearings.
Many of the judges for this event came from this area. Those judges were Dr. Dennis Afton, retired educator, G. Henry Cook, president and CEO of Somerset Trust, Shelby Baird, Yale University, Judy Ellich, reporter from the Daily American, George B. Kaufman, attorney and past president of the Historical and Genealogical Society, Pamela Tokar Ickes, Somerset County commissioner, Joseph Kashurba, president of Kashurba Web Designs Group, LLC, Alex Kashurba, University of Michigan Law School, Matthew G. Melvin, attorney, Marty Radovanic, senior anchor from WJAC-TV, and Gordon D. Reynolds, attorney. I would like to publicly thank each of these individuals, the Somerset County Bar Association, and all of the other people who helped make this event a success. There are many people in our community that give of themselves. That is why Somerset is such a wonderful place to live.
I also hope that all of the schools in Somerset County continue to promote strong civic education programs. Such courses are vital to our continued existence as a republic.
William M. Simmons, PhD.
"We the People" Coordinator, 9th Congressional District, Somerset