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Local students find success in diplomacy

by HILARY MATHESON
Daily Inter Lake | December 15, 2021 12:00 AM

In an interconnected world, addressing global challenges to maintain international peace and security takes a significant amount of negotiation and collaboration.

This is what more than 130 Montana student delegates sought out to achieve over just two days at the 56th annual Model United Nations Conference held at the University of Montana.

Flathead, Glacier and Columbia high schools were among nine schools across Montana and Idaho participating at the Nov. 22-23 conference, and both returned home with awards.

For the fourth consecutive year, Flathead High School was named the large delegation winner. Delegations were judged on overall preparedness, participation and excellence of their delegates. Columbia Falls High School, which was among schools with small delegations, received the honorable school award. Columbia Falls seniors Julia Martin and Emma Stephens ranked in top 25 seniors.

“I am proud of our seniors who really stepped up this year, but it was a complete team effort as fifteen of our students received at least a top 20% award,” Flathead Model UN adviser Sean O’Donnell said.

During the mock United Nations conference, student delegates served on one of the following: General Assembly First Committee (disarmament and security issues), General Assembly Third Committee (social, humanitarian and cultural affairs), United Nations Environment Agency, United Nations Development Programme, Security Council.

“The Model UN conference focuses on critical issues such as pandemic prevention, human trafficking, and global security,” O’Donnell said.

Top participants received either “outstanding, distinguished or honorable,” awards.

In addition to the scholarship, Hove was also recognized as an outstanding delegate (top 1-2%) for her work representing the United Kingdom on the United Nations Environment Agency committee. Fellow Flathead students Leah Spangler and Rylin Wilde were also recognized as outstanding delegates. Spangler also served on the United Nations Environment Agency, representing Indonesia. Wilde also represented Indonesia but served on the General Assembly Third Committee.

Delegates with outstanding position papers (top 1-2%) included Flathead students Aiden Christy, Leah Spangler and Jillian Wynne.

To be a successful delegate, students studied the country they represented prior to the conference such as its geography, culture, political system and leadership, political issues, economic and social conditions, foreign affairs and allies. Additionally research papers were written beforehand to leave time for debating, caucusing, drafting and voting on resolutions to address topics affecting the world.

Awards were also given to countries. Outstanding honors went to the Flathead team representing the United Kingdom, which ranked among the top 5% of countries represented at the conference.

Following are local conference results.

Delegate awards

General Assembly First Committee

Distinguished delegates (top 10%)

— Aiden Christy, Flathead, United Kingdom

Honorable delegates (top 20%)

— Brayden Crawford, Columbia Falls, Estonia

— Haroldson Aerreck, Flathead, Guatemala

United Nations Development Programme

Distinguished delegates (top 10%)

— Mason Fauth, Glacier, Saudi Arabia

— Eddy Chisholm, Columbia Falls, Estonia

Honorable delegates (top 20%)

— Gabe Reddish, FLathead, Indonesia

— Jillian Wynne, Flathead, Israel

— Nolan Geyer-Poncin, Flathead, Somalia

General Assembly Third Committee

Outstanding delegates (top 1-2%)

— Rylin Wilde, Flathead, Indonesia

Distinguished delegates (top 10%)

— Neila Lyngholm, Flathead, Egypt

— Aiden Rohn, Columbia Falls, Estonia

— Annelise Mason, Flathead, Somalia

Honorable delegates (top 20%)

— Rachel Ottman, Flathead, Israel

United Nations Environment Agency

Outstanding delegates (top 1-2%)

— Emily Hove, Flathead, United Kingdom

— Leah Spangler, Flathead, Indonesia

Distinguished delegates (top 10%)

— Emma Stephens, Columbia Falls, Estonia

Honorable delegates (top 20%)

— Connor Adcox, Flathead, Somalia

Security Council

Distinguished Delegate (top 10%)

— Scout McMahon, Flathead, United Kingdom

Position paper awards

Outstanding position papers (top 1-2%)

— Aiden Christy, Flathead, United Kingdom

— Jillian Wynne, Flathead, Israel

— Leah Spangler, Flathead, Indonesia

Distinguished position papers (top 10%)

— Emmary Faerber, Flathead, Egypt

— Rylin Wilde, Flathead, Indonesia

Honorable position papers (top 20%)

— Thomas Konopka, Flathead, Indonesia

— Nolan Dea, Flathead, Somalia

— Mason Fauth, Glacier, Saudi Arabia

— Neila Lyngholm, Flathead, Egypt

— Rachel Ottman, Flathead, Israel

— Julia Martin, Columbia Falls, Bhutan

— Connor Adcox, Flathead, Somalia

Top 5 seniors (scholarship winners)

— Emily Hove, Flathead, United Kingdom

— Scout McMahon, Flathead, United Kingdom

Top 25 seniors (reserve scholarship recipients)

— Julia Martin, Columbia Falls, Bhutan,

— Leah Spangler, Flathead, Indonesia

— Emma Stephens, Columbia Falls, Estonia

— Annelise Mason, Flathead, Somalia

Country Awards

Outstanding country delegations (top 5% of countries represented at the conference)

— Flathead, United Kingdom

Distinguished country delegations (top 10% of countries represented at the conference)

— Flathead, Indonesia

Honorable country delegations (top 20% of countries represented at the conference)

— Columbia Falls, Estonia

— Flathead, Somalia

School awards

Outstanding schools (top 10% of schools in attendance)

— Large delegation: Flathead under adviser Sean O’Donnell

Honorable schools (top 30% of schools in attendance)

— Small delegation: Columbia Falls under adviser Jenny Lovering

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or by email at hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.

*This story has been updated to add Glacier High School to the list of local schools that attended.

photo

Columbia Falls High School received honorable awards at the Montana Model United Nations conference in November.

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