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RNE's Model UN Team wins international competition


For the 29th time in 36 years, the Richland Northeast High School Model UN Team has won the Award of Distinction (first place overall) at the National High School Model United Nations conference in New York City. The competition is the largest in the world, with students traveling from countries across the globe to compete. This is the fourth time the school has won the award under its current leadership of teachers Samantha Rainwater and Marques Ardoin.

“Model UN is amazing because it simultaneously broadens students’ worldview and teaches them about diplomacy, negotiation and teamwork,” said Ms. Rainwater. “We are so proud of these students.”

Despite the school’s history of dominance at Model UN, Ms. Rainwater says the team prepares for months before competition. Once initiated as freshmen/sophomores, the students are hooked. By the time they are eligible to present at competition, they have learned how to prepare, present and think on their toes. At the competition, students participate in five committee sessions. Over the course of these sessions, delegates debate which topics they will focus on and work to create all-encompassing resolutions to address the problem.

At the end of the conference, 10 Richland Northeast students (five delegations) were selected to speak at the podium of the UN General Assembly. There, the delegations discussed the successes and summarized the resolutions created by their committee.

In addition to receiving the Award of Distinction, the team also placed first in research and preparation. This preparation started in November 2017 when the team was assigned the country Jordan which it represented on several Model UN committees. On these committees, students are assigned two issues of international importance to research and develop solutions. The team submitted their research and solutions, which was scored by competition staff.