AV Comp Civics is more than just a competition


Yi (Steven) Yang

Although Comp Civics did not advance to the nationals competition, they are keeping busy listening to speakers like Kermes.

Yi (Steven) Yang, Staff Writer

After Amador placed third during States last week, members of the Comp Civics team didn’t have much to prepare for. As a result, they hosted RJ Kermes, a former member of the Biden advance team. 

Although the team’s most tangible goal throughout the year is to participate in regional, state, and national competitions, their most important goal is to learn and discuss different interpretations of the Constitution. 

“Historically, I have always brought speakers in to Comp Civics, but I am trying to do that more this year because the remote format lends itself to having volunteers who are not necessarily local. So, I am trying to bring in a selection of speakers to get the students thinking about options for their futures down the road. Mr. Kermes is relatively young and very interested in politics. I thought his career path might be one that would interest the students,” said Comp Civics coach Stacey Sklar

As a result, their study touches upon many different fields, including political ones. RJ Kermes, once a member of Joe Biden’s staff, discusses his profession and some of his experiences to Comp Civics. 

Kermes did advance work, in which he thoroughly planned various activities and events Biden attended. 

“I think Mr. Kermes was interesting because I haven’t ever heard of his job before. His personal insights were very helpful because they were informal,” said Matthew Day (‘21)

This is different from the activities that Comp Civics normally do, as it does not involve preparing for a competition. 

“This is very different from previous activities because usually we just go into breakout rooms to work with our unit [instead of listening to a guest speaker],” said Day (‘21)

Kermes also explained what he did and some anecdotes that went along with his work. He also gave some advice to Comp Civics students. 

“I would suggest [for Comp Civics competitors] to retool the knowledge they have from winning a competition . . . to convince them of the importance of [the Constitution and civics]. The most important thing is that they know the Constitution cold,” said RJ Kermes.

Comp Civics will be having more guest speakers to come in and talk next Friday.