- Category: Current Issue
WOODSTOCK — Model United Nations has become a tradition at The Woodstock Academy. The Model UN team consistently performs well at conferences around the country, and this year’s National Model UN Conference in New York City was no exception. The team claimed second overall and three students earned individual awards.
Taylor Phillips, a senior from Woodstock, and Caitlyn Bavosi, a senior from Pomfret, both received Awards of Merit for their performance at the conference. Alexander Bosio, also a senior from Pomfret, received Best Delegate.
Jack Kelley, a senior from Woodstock, said he had no idea what to expect going into the conference but it was “really exciting to be with the best of the best and to have our name in the national spotlight.”
“This accomplishment is the culmination of all the hard work students devote inside and outside of the classroom and the passion of the educators invested in the program” said Holly Singleton, associate headmaster at The Woodstock Academy.
The program is led by social studies teachers Sara Dziedzic, Rory O’Donnell, and Lauren Gagnon who help students prepare and travel with them to conferences. Student Jack Kelley said the advisors
“really put us to the test” before they get to the conferences.
For Kelley, and for most students, their introduction to Model UN is through the International Relations I and II courses. The courses are popular among students and fill up quickly in the registration process. Students who take International Relations II are eligible to receive college credit through UConn’s Early College Experience program. An afterschool Model UN Club also introduces underclassmen to the world of international diplomacy.
Taylor Phillips, a senior from Pomfret, first became involved with Model UN last year. She cannot remember what initially drew her to take International Relations, but once she was in the class she discovered that “I love to debate, discuss global issues, and come up with ways to solve them.” Phillips’s hard work payed off and at the National conference she received an Award of Merit for representing Chile in the Model UN Historical Council discussing the Invasion of Iraq in 2003.
At Model UN competitions students represent delegates from an assigned country, government body, or non-governmental organization to debate and develop solutions for issues of international significance.
Since students do not choose who they will represent, but are assigned a position by the conference coordinators, they are challenged to articulate arguments from a viewpoint that might be different from their own. Through Model UN students are empowered to become informed and active citizens.
Headmaster Chris Sandford said “the continual success of the Model UN team at The Woodstock Academy demonstrates that our students are eager to engage in world politics in meaningful ways, and the opportunity to travel and practice diplomacy with students from across the country is priceless.”
The Academy’s delegation at the National Model UN Conference included Caitlyn Bavosi, Alexander Bosio, Katherine Dalimonte, Bethany LaFramboise, William Liscomb, Taylor Phillips, Zachary Ramos, Jack Kelley, Christopher Claprood, and Allen Horn.