Woodstock Academy Model UN Wins Third Straight National Title
The Woodstock Academy Model United Nations team recently captured the 2021 MUN National title for the third year in a row, winning first place in both research and overall.
The Woodstock Academy team also set new standards for individual first-place awards and it was also the first time that every Woodstock Academy student who took part placed in the competition, earning them the highest award percentage at the conference.
The success was the result of months of preparation as Woodstock Academy head delegates and seniors Ashley Nunes, Eli Werstler, and Ethan Bove began combining their efforts in January to gather research and prepare the team for competition.
“Winning Nationals this year for the third time in a row felt amazing,” Nunes said. “This year has been everything but what we expected, and it meant the world to me that we continued to hold this team to the same standards as ever. Winning was the biggest sense of relief, closure, and happiness many of us have felt in a long time.”
“(The preparation) ended up being worth it, as it really showed in the debate. I am very proud of everyone for the work they put in,” Werstler added.
Model United Nations is an extra-curricular activity in which students, referred to as delegates, are assigned a country to represent in one of the UN’s numerous committees with set topics to debate. They research the background of the country, the country’s position on the topics at hand, and prepare notes on possible solutions to the problems faced.
The Woodstock Academy students also had to deal with changes brought about by the pandemic, preparing and competing virtually all year. MUN advisor Sara Dziedzic said being able to clear those hurdles helped in the national competition which was also held virtually.
“Due to COVID-19, this group knew instinctively how to overcome challenges. They were ready for whatever happened in committee,” Dziedzic said.
To allow for fewer distractions, Dziedzic decided that the best course of action was to make it feel like the road trip that it traditionally is.
The Woodstock Academy team spent the weekend competition at a hotel in Manchester, CT.
“Being able to stay and do the entire conference from our hotel rooms offered us the environment to bond, focus, and perform our best,” Nunes said. “Ms. Dziedzic was another factor which contributed to our success the entire year as a team.”
The strategy paid dividends when it came to the awards. In addition to competing for the team award, MUN Nationals also recognizes individual student achievements with Awards of Distinction (first place); Awards of Excellence (second place); Awards of Merit (third place), and Honorable Mention.
The following Woodstock Academy MUN students received individual awards at Nationals:
Award of Distinction: Riley Chapuis
Award of Distinction: Alexander Williams
Award of Distinction: Kaily LaChapelle
Award of Distinction: Hannah Darigan
Award of Excellence: Eli Werstler
Award of Merit: Sam Massey
Honorable Mention: Ethan Bove
Honorable Mention: Ashley Nunes
Honorable Mention: Clayton Singleton
Honorable Mention: Katie Ben
Honorable Mention: Emily McClure
The Woodstock Academy is an independent, day and boarding, co-educational, college preparatory high school for grades 9–12 and postgraduates located in Woodstock, CT. The mission of The Woodstock Academy is to prepare all students by providing diverse opportunities through a rigorous curriculum and a variety of programs in order to cultivate the necessary skills to become lifelong learners and global citizens.