WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield High School students won the title of premier delegation at this past weekend’s Model United Nations Conference held in Hershey, Pa. from Jan. 10 to 12. The award is given to the group whose delegates perform the best at the conference. Students at this event represented schools from New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
Westfield sent 162 delegates to the conference—about one-tenth of the total students in attendance—where “they displayed tremendous skill, knowledge and passion winning commendations as well as awards,” Daniel Farabaugh, co-advisor of the WHS Model UN along with David Della Fera.
“The delegation, as always, exceeded my expectations with the level of discourse and quality of their debate,” he said. “The whole group carried themselves with grace and aplomb.”
Many students from Westfield took home individual awards: David Gruskin for Premier Diplomat of his committee; Anthony Pirrone, Lucia Liu and Elizabeth Fox for Outstanding Country Research Paper; Emily Holtzman, Eli Whirtshafter and Madeline Leavy for Outstanding First Year Delegate and Andrew Zale for Outstanding Youth Secretariat.
In addition, five Westfield students were selected to attend the Conference of National Affairs, a summer event where delegates from all 50 states participate in a simulation. They are Andrew Zale, Brian Mandel, Julia Napolitano, Samantha Gruskin and Astha Dutta.
“Model UN was a great experience for everyone involved,” said WHS student Will Korth. “There was not one person there who did not enjoy themselves and make lasting memories. I know for certain that I did.”
The presiding officer at this year’s conference was Julia Napolitano. Edward Dellarso was elected to serve as presiding officer in 2015.
Westfield High School’s Model UN club is run in conjunction with the Westfield Area YMCA. The purpose of Model UN, according to the organization, is to be an educational experience that helps today’s students become tomorrow’s leaders, discover their passions, and change the world.