For the fourth year, Brown County Junior High School students competed on the national stage in a way that made their community proud.

The eighth-grade We the People team placed second in the national invitational at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

News came late in the evening Monday.

“I know the kids are a little disappointed, but they showed very well and we’re really pleased for them,” Superintendent David Shaffer said.

The first-place team was from Virginia.

Their teacher, Michael Potts, said he could not be more proud of his students, “not only just the way they performed in terms of knowledge and their hearings, but just the way they’ve performed all year has been a real class act,” he said.

“We had so many people really tell us how much they appreciated that. To me that means an awful lot.”

The eighth-graders had been in Washington, D.C., since April 29, testifying in mock congressional hearings, answering questions about the U.S. Constitution from Supreme Court justices, law professors, state representatives and history professors.

This was Brown County Junior High School’s second-straight runner-up finish; two previous BCJHS teams won the invitational.

Tuesday afternoon at around 4:30, the students will arrive back at the junior high school and hope to see their community waving signs and flags.

Their school bus will be escorted by local authorities and there will be a short parade through the center of town on Van Buren Street, a Facebook event post states.

“It wouldn’t matter if we finished dead last, I could not be more proud of them, and, really, they should be proud of themselves for all of the hard work they’ve really put into this,” Potts said.

“They don’t see it yet, because they’re eighth-graders, but the things that they learn in this program are going to really carry them to really great heights. I really look forward to seeing how far they go.”

Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.