Recently, The O’Neal School Model United Nations team traveled to Washington D.C. for the 6th American University Model United Nations Conference (AMERIMUNC). With a delegation of 10 students ranging from freshman to senior, the team experienced project based learning at its finest.

After a brief tour of the common District monuments, and the many Smithsonian museums, the delegation was off to American University. The conference began with an opening ceremony in the beautiful School of Public Relations.

The ceremony was filled with a bipartisan panel of Washington elite including Ambassador Shelly Shelton, Pennsylvania Congressman Charlie Dent, Activist Charles De Santis, and Ron Elving of NPR’s Washington Desk as a moderator. Their joint discussion preached an overall theme of how compromise, cooperation, and collaboration are bigger than any one issue. Once Amerimunc 6 was gaveled into session it was off to committees for all 642 delegates.

O’Neal was present in a range of committees all surrounding the current and potential crises in the Pacific. The delegates immersed themselves in a collective 13 and a half hours of debate, exacting fierce argument on real geopolitical issues. Acting as a prime example of project based learning, it uses an immersive simulation to teach students creative problem solving and how to efficiently think on their feet.

After three days of debate, the delegates were lead to the Bender basketball arena for closing ceremonies.

Overall, The O’Neal School was very pleased with this year’s results receiving seven awards in three committees. Sophomore Tim Richardson received an Honorable Mention as Director of Government Arsenal in the Philippines National Police, senior Shamiso Kodzai received an Honorable Mention as Demis Hassabis in the Alphabet Board of Directors, senior Stefan Woolley received an Honorable Mention and the Diplomat Award as Hung Tzu- Yung in the Legislative Yuan of Taiwan, sophomores Jamie Wenzel and Téa Waldt received the Best Delegate  award as Peru in the United Nations Security Council.

Finally, the O’Neal delegation as a whole received the Honorable Small Delegation (3rd) award placing them at the top of the conference for the second year in a row. It’s conferences like these that help train the next generation of activists, advisors, and diplomats.

Written by Jamie Wenzel, O’Neal Sophomore and Member of the Model UN Team.

Courtesy photo of The O’Neal School Model UN Team (L-R) Advisor Dr. Vicky Grimm, Tim Richardson, Molly Kuzma, Shamiso Kodzai, Tea Waldt, George Casey, Jamie Wenzel, Sarah Massey, Stefan Woolley, Isabella Miller, Andrew Lewis, Advisor Woody Wilder.

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