HBMS COMPETES AT INTERNATIONAL MODEL UN CONFERENCE IN
The 2013-2014 HBMS Model UN Team: Left to right: Max Wall, Emsley Brems, Mintie Badauskas, Simone Eames, Joshua Ng, Daniel Grinsphon, Philippe Lamarche, Aditya Bhatt, Brandon Semones, Anna Hansil, Chason Thompson and Genevieve Rowlands. (Not pictured: Catherine Fisher).
Thirteen 8th grade students from Holcomb Bridge Middle School
recently traveled to New York City to visit the United National Headquarters and
debate current world issues with 1,600 middle school students from around the
world at the 9th annual Global Classroom’s International Middle School Model UN
Conference on March
27-29, 2014. The students were accompanied to
New York by HBMS Assistant Principal Matt Vance and teachers Dwayne Gregory, Pam
Wright and Aubrey Chaffin.
Middle School was the first middle school in Fulton County to participate in an
international Model UN competition, and it is one of only a few in Georgia to
attend. “These students were an exciting group to work with—they were
inquisitive, hard-working and articulate. I was impressed with their
collaboration skills and their public speaking. And, they also excelled at
partying at the delegate social on Friday night! It was a fun trip,” said
teacher Pam Wright.
The student teams,
acting as delegates from Ukraine and Iran, spent weeks preparing for their roles
as spokespeople for their respective countries. Considering recent world
conflicts, students had to work diligently to keep their materials
current. This year,
the HBMS students were afforded the incredible opportunity to learn and practice
formal debate skills. Mr. James R. Roland III, Director of Community Outreach
and Engaged Scholarship for the Barkley Forum at Emory University, Program
Director for the National Debate Project, and director of the Debate Center at
Georgia State University, facilitated a series of three workshops for the HBMS
Model UN team.
Once at the event,
the team had to be ready to draft resolutions, negotiate with allies and
adversaries, resolve conflicts, and show mastery of Model UN conference rules of
procedure. “I thought that our team did extremely well at the conference and
really expressed our countries’ points of view on the designated issues,” said
8th grade student Anna Hansil. The HBMS students
addressed controversial topics such as Genetically Modified Organisms and
Sustainable Diets, Access to Education for Persons with Disabilities, Empowering
Rural Women, Establishing Action Plans for Global Pandemics, and Protecting the
Arctic. Each Holcomb Bridge delegate spoke in front of the large, international
committees, impacting the resolutions drafted. HBMS student delegates Simone
Eames and Joshua Ng received a well-deserved verbal accolade for their
accomplishments during committee procedures.
“I am very proud of these students
and our educators who coached and accompanied them,” said Principal Joy
Schroerlucke. “This is the 8th year that our school has
participated in the International Model UN competition. As a school of global
classrooms, it is a perfect fit for us.”
The HBMS students worked the entire
year during Learning Lab to prepare for the big event and collectively raised
over $20,000 to cover the cost of the trip—but they didn’t do it alone.
“We are so grateful to all the companies in our community who
sponsored us,” said 8th grade student Mintie Badauskas. “Mr. Clean
Carwash, Skyzone, Studio Movie Grill and the Holcomb Bridge PTA all helped
us. We also won a Sawnee EMC Bright Ideas Grant of $1,500 to help
cover the cost of our travel to the conference in New York. And,
it was so nice of our families, friends and neighbors to help, too.” Her
teammate, Anna Hansil, agrees. “It was fantastic how the team came
together to brainstorm our fundraising. It was a lot of work, but I wouldn’t
trade it for anything,” added Hansil. “I loved everything about the trip from
the diversity of the conference—meeting students from countries on the other
side of the world as well as from the U.S.—to getting to see the windy Empire
State Building and more in New York City!”
Middle School—a school of global classrooms—is located at 2700 Holcomb Bridge
Road, Alpharetta, GA. The school has received numerous distinctions, including
the prestigious designation of Georgia National Lighthouse School to Watch for
being a high-performing school that is academically excellent, developmentally
responsive and socially equitable. Holcomb Bridge is also a Georgia School of
Excellence and a Distinguished Title I School.
The HBMS Model UN at Hartsfield-Jackson airport gets ready to fly to New York. Back row (left to right): Genevieve Rowlands, Anna Hansil, Emsley Brems, Chason Thompson, Daniel Grinsphon, Philippe Lamarche and Max Wall. Front row (left to right): Joshua Ng, Aditya Bhatt, Brandon Semones, Mintie Badauskas, Catherine Fisher and Simone Eames.
The HBMS Model UN team on site at the United Nations Headquarters. Back row (left to right): HBMS Teacher Pam Wright, Brandon Semones, Emsley Brems, Anna Hansil, Genevieve Rowlands, Daniel Grinsphon, Philippe Lamarche, Chason Thompson. Front row (left to right): Mintie Madauskas, Joshua Ng, Max Wall, Aditya Bhatt, Catherine Fisher, Simone Eames.