In a global world, local students showed a keen understanding of international relations with several top winners at the recent Model United Nations Conference at the University of Montana Nov. 19-20.
At the mock conference, roughly 321 high school student delegates representing 110 of the United Nation’s 193 member states debated, negotiated, caucused, drafted papers culminating in voting on resolutions to address world problems.
Columbia Falls, Flathead, Glacier, Ronan and Whitefish high schools and Heritage Learning were among 21 high schools from around Montana in attendance, according to Montana Model United Nations.
Top honors went to the Columbia Falls High School team, representing France, which was ranked in the top 5 percent of countries represented at the conference.
Accolades also went to Flathead High School for its overall performance among large delegations, and Heritage Learning, a home-school group in Kalispell, for small delegations — putting them in the top 10 percent of schools in attendance.
Flathead High School’s Melissa Roybal made the list of the top five seniors competing at the conference and will be offered a $1,000 scholarship to attend the University of Montana.
Another top competitor was Tawni Lloyd of Heritage Learning, whose position paper ranked in the top 1 to 2 percent.
At the conference, student delegates served on one of five committees: General Assembly Plenary, General Assembly First Committee (disarmament and security), General Assembly Second Committee (economic and financial), General Assembly Third Committee (social, cultural, and humanitarian), and Security Council.
To be a successful, delegate students need to know about their country — the geography and culture, political system, leadership, political issues, economic and social conditions and foreign affairs.
It is also critical for student delegates to know their country’s allies, which may lead to co-sponsored resolutions and voting blocs, according to Montana Model United Nations.
Following is a list of top schools and individual students.
— Outstanding large delegation (top 10 percent): Flathead High School.
— Outstanding small delegation (top 10 percent): Heritage Learning.
— Outstanding country delegations (top 5 percent): Columbia Falls, France.
— Distinguished country delegations (top 10 percent): Flathead, South Africa; and Flathead, Thailand.
— Honorable country delegations (top 20 percent): Flathead, Jordan; Heritage Learning, China; and Flathead, Ethiopia.
General Assembly First Committee
— Distinguished delegates (Top 10 percent): Melissa Roybal, Flathead; and Parker Davey, Glacier.
— Honorable delegates (Top 20 percent): Rally Belcher, Whitefish.
General Assembly Second Committee
— Distinguished delegates (Top 10 percent): Tre’ Finley, Columbia Falls; and Aria Scovel, Flathead.
— Honorable delegates (Top 20 percent): Victoria White, Flathead; Jack Gannon, Flathead; and Kyla Harris, Glacier.
General Assembly Third Committee
— Distinguished delegates (Top 10 percent): Chloe Coberley, Columbia Falls; Kianna Storm, Flathead; and Laney Conger, Columbia Falls.
— Honorable delegates (Top 20 percent): Rhianyon Larson, Flathead; Elizabeth Buckner, Heritage Learning; Natasha Gesker, Flathead; Amy Smith, Flathead; and Aiden Judge, Columbia Falls.
International Organization on Migration
— Distinguished delegates (Top 10 percent): Annabelle Pukas, Flathead.
— Honorable delegates (Top 20 percent): Tawni Lloyd, Heritage Learning; and Eva Bruce, Flathead.
— Honorable delegate (Top 20 percent): Sam Lovering, Columbia Falls.
Position Paper Awards
— Outstanding position papers (top 1-2 percent): Tawni Lloyd, Heritage Learning.
— Distinguished position papers (Top 10 percent): Jordan Annabelle Pukas, Flathead; Jamaica Bohdi Hollman, Flathead; Jack Gannon, Flathead; Victoria White, Flathead; Kyla Harris, Glacier; and Natasha Gesker, Flathead.
— Honorable Position Papers (Top 20 percent): Chase Coggins,Heritage Learning; Maggie McKeon, Columbia Falls; Eva Bruce, Flathead; Griffin Conger, Columbia Falls; Noah Golan, Columbia Falls; Elly Schaefer, Flathead; Tre Finley, Columbia Falls; Rhianyon Larson, Flathead; and Elizabeth Buckner, Heritage Learning.
Top five seniors: Melissa Roybal, Flathead
Top 20 seniors: Jordan Annabelle Pukas, Flathead; Elizabeth Buckner, Heritage Learning; and Amy Smith, Flathead.