Upper School Model United Nations Team Sees Victory at William and Mary Conference

Between Oct. 9 and 10, upper school students followed their fearless, Model United Nations leader Upper School Social Studies Teacher Aaron Gregory to the College of William and Mary campus for two days of intense thought and deliberation. The conference was a wonderful learning experience for a handful of first-time student attendees and several student veterans.

“I love that @williamandmary allows committees to meet in the Wren Building, the oldest college building in the U.S.,” said Gregory in a Tweet on Nov. 10. “The JCC meets here, and Kai [Bartol ’20] let me know that General Ludendorff has survived a direct assassination attempt. The crisis is heating up.”

Model U.N. Veteran Austin Doyle ’20 acted as former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, offering his expertise to Facebook in its preparations for handling expected hacking and misinformation during the 2020 presidential election. Austin left the hearing beaming at the arrest of Spotify board member and billionaire Sean Parker—Bowles (Doyle) helped prove Parker was illegally hacking U.S. government computer systems.

The Congo was well represented at the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime by long-time Model U.N. members Josh Reed ’20 and Jenny Kim ’20 who worked with their bloc to help the committee.

Carson Giocondo ’20 and Hayden Verostic ’20 represented the Congo on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Committee. Carson and Hayden learned nuclear concerns are Congolese concerns and were active participants and listeners during the IAEA session.

Abe Musselmani ’20 had a tough assignment. He played Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture in a crisis meeting of the Saudi Council of Ministers. Al-Fadley (Musselmani) had mixed results in his hearing. His “no” vote was not quite enough to save the Minister of Oil from removal and imprisonment during debate over Saudi Arabia's invasion of Iran.

Skylar Tessler ’20 is a multi-year veteran of Model UN and drove hard bargains as Norway on the Arctic Circle Committee on Crude Oil. Later, Tessler enjoyed a relaxed conversation with a fellow delegate after convincing the committee to pass her resolution!

Ashton Hall ’21 represented the Central African Republic on the International Court of Justice with Ethan Myers ’19. They worked together to form an African bloc to mediate a solution to the U.S.-Iran dispute.

The team ended the trip participating in closing ceremonies, packing up their hotel rooms and having a run-in with Norfolk Collegiate alumnae Brett Goldman '18 whose soccer team played William and Mary’s the following day.

Uniquely, the Joint Crisis Committee this year was a World War I simulation, ending at 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.

“It was really wild to have this simulation at the same moment World War II ended,” said Kai. “It made the whole thing feel more serious.”

“This is my third year in Model UN, and I still feel like I’m learning a lot,” said Andrew Hair ’20. “This was my first year on a crisis committee, and I really liked how active and fast-paced it was. I felt like I got more experience thinking on my feet and responding to immediate challenges.”

The team came home with the Erica C. Chiusano Award for Devotion to International Service. It was the team’s second time winning this award in the past three years, and it recognizes the team’s fundraising efforts for Global Children Cambodia.