Complex Issues and Global Resolutions: Students Participate in Stanford Model U.N.

The 6th year of the Model United Nations (MUN) club at Mount Madonna School (MMS) got underway recently with an assembly at Stanford University. Ten MMS high school students participated in the event held November 15-17. The participating students were: Preethi Balagani, 12th; Alyssa Feskanin, Chris Colip, Lena Wiley, Lexi Julien, Renata Massion, Tobin Mitchell and Zoe Kelly, 11th; Sophia Saavedra, 10th; Isabella Bettencourt, 9th, along with honorary member Lekha Duvvoori.

‘The material was challenging and allowed for the delegates to understand a variety of time periods, historic events and current issues,’ commented club mentor Sumana Reddy. ‘As is usual with Stanford, we were presented with a range of committees that were small, crisis oriented and engaging. Overall this was the best organized Stanford event we have attended.’

Student participants were enthusiastic about the experience:

‘I really enjoyed MUN and look forward to the next Assembly,’ commented Bettencourt, a first-time participant. ‘I appreciated the interaction with new people, learning about new topics, and finding interesting solutions to our problems.’

‘This year I was part of the WWll: Allies committee,’ shared Balagani. ‘My position was Hastings Ismay, the British Chief Staff Officer to the Prime Minister. The committee was based on everything that happened after Pearl Harbor. What I really enjoyed this year about Model UN was being part of one of the historical committees. It was exciting to simulate situations that had already happened and work together as a team to pass directives to create solutions.’

‘Being on a crisis committee this year was new and different for me,’ shared junior Lexi Julien. ‘We were forced to deal with multiple pressing issues at once, making the committee much more realistic and exciting. My committee was faced with a civilian uprising, and the most exciting event of the weekend was when our room was stormed by a group of rebels and they kidnapped several of our cabinet members. Overall, it was a very fun weekend and the best Stanford MUN event I’ve been to.’

Classmate Renata Massion agreed:

‘Overall, this was my favorite Model UN conference so far, not only because of the topic, but because of my fellow delegates who made the experience that much more fun. Being in the Arab Spring Joint Crisis Committee was an entirely new experience for me and I was not sure what to expect when I walked in the room. After having multiple crises thrown at us in the first few hours, ranging from kidnappings, to protests gone wrong, to spies from the government, we quickly learned how fast-paced and exciting the committee would be over the next few days.’

‘I was representing Marc-Guillaume Alexis Vadier in the French Revolution Committee,’ said Wiley. ‘We were working to decide what to do with King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and what kind of government we should set up in place of the monarchy. Mine was a crisis committee, so while working on resolving the issues of government, we had to simultaneously fight off the British from our northern borders, send diplomats to our colony in Haiti to calm rebellions, setup infrastructure, ration flour, and create propaganda to encourage the French population to grow food and join the military.’

Reddy, who has mentored the club for six years, said she thanks all the parents who’ve supported it to date, and wants to put a ‘call out’ to new parent volunteers interested in helping to sustain the club going forward. If interested, contact sumana@sumanadotcom. 


Photos by Julia Wiley

Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, Marketing & Communications,

Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.




Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, director of marketing & communications,


Nestled among the redwoods on 380 acres, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is a diverse learning community dedicated to creative, intellectual, and ethical growth. MMS supports its students in becoming caring, self-aware, discerning and articulate individuals; and believes a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships and service to society. The program, accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville. Founded in 1979.

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