Middle and high school students from six schools in four counties joined their peers at Mount Madonna School (MMS) for their inaugural regional Model United Nations (Model UN or MUN) conference hosted by MMS on February 11. The theme of the conference, Climate Justice for All: Addressing Inequality, had students debating global issues from the perspective of their adopted countries, including sustainable tourism, women in climate leadership and green technology transfer to less developed countries. The student delegates spent four hours over the course of the day drafting solutions to these issues, working in groups and then individually through formal debate.
“Doing Model UN has made me much more confident and a lot less nervous talking in front of larger audiences,” commented MMS sixth grader Emma Killough.
“I enjoyed learning more about MUN at the conference and speaking for my country to support my committee’s cause,” said MMS student Nolan McKibbin, who received the “Best Delegate” award in the committee focusing on sustainable tourism.
The student organizing team from Mount Madonna School, Moreland Notre Dame, Santa Cruz Montessori and Stevenson School, Pebble Beach, kicked off the opening ceremony by inviting keynote speaker Jackie McCloud, sustainability chief for the City of Watsonville, to address students about the local impact and challenges of climate change, particularly in light of recent flooding in the Pajaro Valley.
Lisa Martin, director of the lower school and the MUN coordinator at Mount Madonna School, then awarded longtime Watsonville High School educator and MUN advisor Ron Jones with an award recognizing his over 30-year contribution in to the development of MUN in the region.
“As we start the process of relaunching MUN in the region after almost two decades of absence,” Martin told the audience, “we would like to recognize and thank Ron Jones, history teacher, MUN director extraordinaire, a legend at Watsonville High School and wonderful human being for his enduring contributions to youth in Watsonville.”
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Nestled among the redwoods on 375 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 CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville. Founded in 1979.