9th Circuit Civics finalists announced


Final judging has been completed in the 2020 Ninth Circuit Civics Contest for high school students in the western United States, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

All told, nearly 1,000 young people entered the contest, despite challenges posed by school closures and distance learning due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Right to Vote: Milestone Anniversaries” was the theme of the contest. Students in grades 912 in public, private and parochial schools and home-schooled students of equivalent grade status were challenged to write an essay or produce a short video with the questions presented: “In the wake of the 15th and 19th Amendments, barriers remained to prevent United States citizens from voting. Do formal or informal barriers remain today? What additional changes would you make, if any, to Americans’ voting rights?”

Fifteen federal courts in the Ninth Circuit, including the District Court of Guam, held local contests with winners advancing to the final round to compete in the circuit-wide competition.

The essay winners from Guam are:

  • 1st place, Jenny Mann, of St. Johns School in Tumon
  • 2nd place, Raemier Javelosa of the Academy of Our Lady of Guam in Hagåtña
  • 3rd place, Lian Tsiao, also of the Academy of Our Lady of Guam.

The winners of the video competition from Guam are: 

  • 1st place, the team of Putra Sani and James Tabunar of George Washington High School in Mangilao
  • 2nd place, Shawn Gatchell of Guam High School in Hagåtña
  • 3rd place, Joseph Vinch, also of Guam High School

The District Court of Guam will give prizes of $150, $100 and $50 for the top three finishers or teams in both the essay and video competitions.