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Students Distinguish Themselves at Model United Nations

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Students Distinguish Themselves at Model United Nations
Posted on 05/14/2015
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Teams from Portland High School and Lyman Moore Middle School performed exceptionally well at the Maine Model United Nations event held this week at the University of Southern Maine’s Gorham campus.

Students from Deering and Casco Bay high schools also distinguished themselves during the May 11-13 event.

"All delegates took away rich experiences from participating in the conference," said CBHS teacher Alison Perkins, advisor to that school's team.

The PHS team was the second highest scoring team, winning five of 53 delegate awards, according to PHS social studies teacher Sally Reagan.

“There were almost 600 delegates (students) at this event and more than 25 teams participating, so only one other school earned more awards than we did,” Reagan said. “I am proud of our team for months of researching and writing great position papers, working to support each other, making ‘alliances’ with students from other schools, speaking publicly in their roles and for sacrificing their time during AP testing to participate in this challenging simulation event.” The event entailed three days and two nights of meetings.

Reagan said these awards were won by the following PHS students:

• Honorable Mention Award: Jane Ackermann, representing Cuba

• Distinguished Delegates Award: Margaret Parker, representing Pakistan; Eamonn Dundon, representing Cote d'Ivoire; Charlie Lyall, representing Cuba

• Outstanding Diplomacy Award: Leo Hilton, representing Cuba

Other PHS students participating in the event were: Suleiman Ali, Guled Hussain Ali, Fardowsa Mohammed, Alex Frank, Ben Freedman, Ben Legere, Hussein Dubow and Abdi Sulub.

This was the second year that Lyman Moore Middle School sent a team to the Maine Model United Nations competition. It’s only the second time middle school teams have been invited.

Moore’s team was comprised of seventh- and eighth-grade students and led by teachers Caroline Foster and Tyler Jellison. Working with 50 students in the General Assembly – which was chaired by two United Nations experts – Lyman Moore students debated how to help ensure girls' and women's education worldwide.

“Lyman Moore Middle School students performed exceptionally well,” Foster said. Moore earned five of 10 possible awards, competing with more than 40 students from four schools in the middle school delegation, she said.

“In the months leading up to the event, 18 students researched and wrote two position papers from the point of view of their assigned country: one paper on girls' education and one on animal rights,” Foster said. “At the conference, the students became delegates from those countries and had to debate the topics, sponsor carefully worded working papers, and strategically create alliances from their countries' perspectives in order to pass resolutions. All students were impressive in showing global knowledge, critical thinking, and creative problem solving in the simulation.”

Receiving Honorable Mention Awards for their efforts were Moore students Imtithal Hassan as China; Cecilia Ritter as Libya; Owen Dionne as Cuba; and Luke Hill as Bosnia and Herzegovina. An eighth-grader who was Moore's delegate from the Russian Federation was named a Distinguished Delegate.

Moore seventh-grader Jenavieve Vincent said about the experience: “Going there, I feel like it helps you learn more about countries around the world, enough to become a better global citizen. It helps you to understand that other people will have different opinions from you, and helps you learn how to debate and respect other peoples’ opinions.”

Julia Scholz, also a Moore seventh-grader, said: “The first session was difficult – it was hard to put yourself into someone else’s position. Since we were raised in America, we learned to think the American way and we grow up thinking that’s the way we are supposed to think. So it was challenging to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. I’m glad I did it.”

Two Deering High School students took the Model United Nations course through USM's political science department and were chairs for committees. Hanan Yousef  was chair of the Organization of American States and Mohammed Nur was chair of the San Francisco Conference of 1945.

DHS student Katie McCabe, representing China in the General Assembly, won a Distinguished Delegate Award.

Casco Bay High School sent 19 students in grades 9 through 12 to the conference.

"The students spent two overnights on the USM campus in Gorham, working diligently to hone their public speaking skills, debate skills, and understanding of international relations in an effort to think critically about how to improve the world," said CBHS social studies teachers Matthew Bernstein. "We are immensely proud of the hard work that students did to prepare for this conference and for the way that they represented their assigned nations, themselves, and the entire school community."

CBHS students participating were Izzy Baker-Pitre; Jim Bowie; Curtis Brown; Grace Callahan; Caity Conley; Tyler Doss; Nate Hesselink; Jacob Libby; Mel McClure-Chute; Saffron Mello; Fatumo Omar; Mohamed Omar;  Ethan Pierce; Josie Pierce; Veronica Recalde; Maggie Ruff; Zachary Russell; Violet Sulka/Hewes; and Eddy Tchatat.