Mr. Scott Kuschel, Brother Rice Social Studies teacher and Model United Nations Moderator, took his youngest team ever to Washington, D.C. and still brought home honors. The 11 man team consisted of 3 juniors and 8 sophomores. They traveled to Washington, D.C. on January 12th to compete in the 2014 North American Invitational Model United Nations competition.
(NAIMUN) is one of the oldest UN simulations for high school students in North America and the world. Since 1963, the conference has provided a forum in which a dynamic range of young students gather from around the world to seek, through discussion, negotiation and debate, solutions to the various problems of the world. The 3,000+ participants convene for four days, simulating their role as delegates to the United Nations from a particular nation and serving as representatives of that country’s policies. NAIMUN runs over 38 mini-simulations, including standard committees from the UN General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Security Council, as well as crisis simulations of various regional organizations, national cabinets, corporate boards and political organizations.
Brother Rice has a strong tradition of winning at NAIMUN, holding an impressive total of 5 National Championships in program history. Representing the Russian Federation on all 5 committees, the team had a tough challenge in front of them. None of the team members had ever traveled to D.C. nor did they have any real NAIMUN experience. Josh Geary and Evan Grathwohl were awarded an Honorable Mention (3rd place) out of 50 schools in the legal committee on the topic of rewriting the Geneva Convention protocols on how to define prisoners of war.
Mr. Kuschel was very proud of the team, the awards they earned and the leaders who took charge. ”Juniors Josh Geary and Even Oesterle have really stepped up as leaders. With such a young team everyone was looking for a little direction and they filled the void. They have been very focused on the team’s success and making sure the younger guys are prepared to compete.” He continued, “Our Brother Rice athletic teams get a ton of publicity in the media, but I don’t think people realize that we teach our kids to compete on other “playing fields”. Our students like to compete in the classroom and through our academic teams as well. This MUN team wants to win and they are really focused on taking another step forward next year.”
MUN competition can be as exciting as traditional sports. This team’s success widens the playing field for a school like Brother Rice known for its success in athletics. While the focus of the trip was competing, the kids did get a chance to take in some of the sites in our nation’s capital. They went on a tour at The Library of Congress and had a private tour scheduled at the Smithsonian which was unfortunately snowed out.
While their main event for the year is done, Mr. Kuschel and the team still have a few more local events to compete in. He expects that the experience they gained in D.C. will really show as they finish up their season.