HERSHEY, PA -- Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School students won Outstanding Delegation at the Model United Nations (MUN) conference last weekend in Hershey, PA.

During the event, students served as delegates to the different branches modeled after the United Nations and participated in mock committee sessions throughout the weekend. At one of the largest high school MUN conferences in the nation, SPFHS delegates performed exceptionally amongst approximately 30 other delegates and received an overall award for Outstanding Delegation.

To prepare for the convention, students receive a country assignment and research their nation. Once there, delegates collaborate to pass resolutions and participate in discussions about both recent and historical issues. The conference becomes a 48-hour whirl of banging gavels, riveting debate, and stimulating discussion.

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"MUN  has changed the way I look at the world. It opened the doors to a whole new realm where I began to understand the unique opinions and beliefs of nations across the globe -- some of which have shaped my own," said SPFHS junior, Kaavya Krishna-Kumar, who attended her third Model United Nations convention this year.

"Too often we look at what is going on around us through a single pair of eyes, but MUN allows us to see the world from eyes of the 1,700+ delegates who come to the conference representing countries spanning every corner of the globe. I'm truly honored to be a part of this great program," she added.

Many students from SPFHS received specific honors. A chair is chosen through an election process to lead each committee at the end of the conference. Additionally, each committee recognizes a best speaker called a Premiere Delegate. Other awards include Best Brief, Outstanding Country Research Paper, and Premiere Youth Secretariat acknowledge well-written papers, and exceptional student leadership.

Among the individual SPFHS honorees:

  • Paulie Cherubini, Kaavya Krishna-Kumar, and Rebecca Ames were elected as Chairs.
  • Josh Axelrod, Rebecca Ames, Sarah Barash, John Sheehy, Michael Lange, & David Lange were recognized as Premiere Delegates.
  • Elise Mann won Premiere Youth Secretariat.
  • Francesca Jones, Gabriel Sta Rosa, Michael Lange, and Kiersten Swaak each won Outstanding Country Research Paper.
  • Matthew Itzkowitz, Justin Greenman, Gali Zaborowski, and Claire Nguyen won Best Brief as a team.

"It is such a refreshing feeling to know that I can give back to the conference since I was elected as chair. I hope that one day I can impact at least one delegate the way that my chairs have in the past," said Krishna-Kumar, who was bestowed with the honor of being named an officer.

"Although I will miss debating, I can't want to go behind the scenes to make next year's conference the best it can be!"

"The SPF delegation had so many students who embraced leadership roles before and during conference,” said Robin Stayvas, one of the Model UN Club’s co-advisors. “We are so proud of our many Outstanding Research Paper winners, Premiere Delegates, and committee chair winners."

"As a delegation, Mr. Valentine and I feel very lucky and honored to have had such a dedicated, hardworking, and enthusiastic group of students with us at conference," Stayvas added. We couldn't be happier with the way it all proceeded and the ways in which our students so positively reflected the SPF community. We cannot wait for next year!"