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Flathead, C-Falls students excel at Model UN conference

by HILARY MATHESON
Daily Inter Lake | November 18, 2020 12:00 AM

As the United Nations commemorates 75 years, the University of Montana held the 55th annual Model United Nations high school conference on Nov. 13.

In the wake of a global pandemic, the mock United Nations conference went virtual this year, where student delegates went online to debate, negotiate caucus and vote on resolutions to address world problems.

Students were also able to hear keynote speaker Dr. Marshall Bloom present: “Pandemic Viruses: Global Citizens.” Bloom is chief of the biology of vector-borne viruses section in the Laboratory of Virology and is the associate director for scientific management at Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton.

Flathead and Columbia Falls high schools were among eight schools from around Montana participating.

“Model UN gives students a tremendous opportunity to learn diplomatic skills and cooperate on critical issues facing our world,” said Flathead High School Model United Nations adviser Sean O’Donnell.

Top honors went to the Flathead team that represented Belgium, ranking in the top 5% of countries represented at the conference. Accolades also went to Flathead for its overall performance, ranking in the top 10% of participating schools with large delegations.

Columbia Falls High School tied with Big Sky in ranking among the top 20% of schools with small delegations.

Flathead’s Eva Bruce made the cut of the top five seniors competing at the conference and each will be offered a $1,000 scholarship to attend the University of Montana. Bruce was among the top 1 to 2% of delegates serving on the Model United Nations Security Council. Her position paper was also ranked in the top 1 to 2%.

Other competitors whose position papers also placed in the top 1 to 2% included: Sophia Dykhuizen, Scout McMahon, Emily Mitchell and Rylin Wilde, all of Flathead.

Another top competitor was Jillian Wynne of Flathead, whose work on the General Assembly Second Committee earned her a place in the top 1 to 2% of participating delegates.

During the conference, student delegates served on one of the following: General Assembly First Committee (disarmament and security issues), General Assembly Second Committee (economic and financial issues), Environment Assembly, Human Settlements Programme, and Security Council.

To be a successful delegate, students study the country they represent — its geography and culture, political system, leadership, political issues, economic and social conditions, foreign affairs and allies.

Following is a list of top local students and the countries they represented in addition to country awards.

Delegate Awards

General Assembly First Committee

— Distinguished Delegates (top 10%)

Scout McMahon of Flathead, China

Caleb Rhubottom of Flathead, Ethiopia

Raphe Salmon of Columbia Falls, Russia

General Assembly Second Committee

— Outstanding Delegates (top 1-2%)

Jillian Wynne of Flathead, Belgium

— Distinguished Delegates (top 10%)

Anna Christensen of Flathead, China

Jack Gannon of Flathead, Bosnia and Herzegovina

— Honorable Delegates (top 20%)

Rylee Houser of Flathead, Colombia

Aiden Judge of Columbia Falls, Russia

Environment Assembly

— Distinguished Delegates (top 10%)

Eddie Chisholm of Columbia Falls, Russia

Leah Spangler of Flathead, Belgium

— Honorable Delegates (top 20%)

Emma Cooley of Columbia Falls, Cambodia

Human Settlements Programme

— Honorable Delegates (top 20%)

Sophia Dykhuizen of Flathead, China

Calie Jo Johnson of Columbia Falls, Russia

Security Council

— Outstanding Delegate (top 1-2%)

Eva Bruce of Flathead, China

— Honorable Delegate (Top 20%)

Braden Anderson of Flathead, Belgium

Position Paper Awards

— Outstanding position papers (top 1-2%)

Eva Bruce Bruce of Flathead, China

Sophia Dykhuizen of Flathead, China

Scout McMahon of Flathead, China

Emily Mitchell of Flathead, Lebanon

Rylin Wilde of Flathead, China

— Distinguished Position Papers (top 10%)

Anna Christensen of Flathead, China

James Davidson of Flathead, Colombia

Calie Jo Johnson of Columbia Falls, Russia

Emmerson Kaseman of Flathead, Ethiopia

Olive Lyngholm of Flathead, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Jillian Wynne of Flathead, Belgium

— Honorable Position Papers (top 20%)

Eddie Chisholm of Columbia Falls, Russia

Tre Finley of Columbia Falls, Russia

Jack Gannon of Flathead, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Caden Masa of Flathead, Ethiopia

Isaac Sandler of Flathead, Colombia

Top five seniors

Eva Bruce of Flathead, China

Top 25 seniors

Braden Anderson of Flathead, Belgium

Anna Christensen of Flathead, China

Ben Davidson of Flathead, Colombia

Tre Finley of Columbia Falls, Russia

Calie Jo Johnson of Columbia Falls, Russia

Country Awards

— Outstanding Country Delegations (top 5% of countries represented)

Flathead High School team representing Belgium

— Distinguished Country Delegations (top 10% of countries represented)

Flathead High School team representing China

Columbia Falls High School team representing Russia

— Honorable Country Delegations (top 20% of countries represented)

Flathead High School team representing Ethiopia

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 748-4431 or by email at hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com