This article was written by Vanessa Ryals, class of 2018.
More than 150 schools and 4,500 student delegates competed at this year’s National High School Model United Nations Conference (NHSMUN) stationed at the United Nations headquarters March 10-13. Heritage’s Model UN team defeated the odds, becoming one of only five schools to receive the “Award of Excellence,” an honor which cements the team’s position as one of the five best Model UN programs in the nation.
Here are the honorees:
Best Delegate (Speaking positions representing their committees at the UN ceremonies)
Seniors Isabella Sharifi, Simrun Lakhani and Kevin Pollack, juniors Eric Bazail, Sarah Mitchell, Jackson Arnberg, David Min, James Blitz, Roberta Wasserman, Jim Liu and Zihan Kabir, and freshmen Alec Studnik and Thomas Lovegren
Award of Distinction (highest award in Specialized Committees)
Senior Amanda Wasserman, junior Alec Chao and sophomore Thomas Lovegren
Award of Excellence
Juniors Harrison Arnberg and Min-kyu Kim
At the end of conference, eight Heritage students who received “Best Delegate” designations were also awarded speaking positions during Closing Ceremonies and five other students placed in Specialized Committees and Crisis Agencies – up from last year’s bests of two speaking positions and two “Specialized/Crisis” awards.
Students spent their downtime exploring New York City and, post-conference, were joined by last year’s co-presidents Grace King (UF) and Matthew Robins (Brown). The team was set to fly back to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. the night of March 13 but, due to impending snowstorm Stella, struggled to catch a flight back home.
“A three hour traffic jam caused us to arrive at the airport less than half an hour before our flight. Needless to say, a miracle was needed to get us all on the plane safely,” MUN advisor and history teacher Mr. Mark Gruskin said. “I’d like to mention the heroism of several of our kids, who went above and beyond during this crisis – Amanda Wasserman, Lorenzo Lamo, Harrison Arnsberg, Zihan Kabir, Scott Robins and Alec Chao. Along with myself, we had to get Delta and TSA to expedite our check-in, expedite boarding passes and security, hold the plane for our group and deal with issues regarding the boarding passes of two of our students whose seats were “given away” due to a mistake by Delta.”
King and Robins are still stuck in the blizzard.