WMHSMUN, PMC, and MCHS Debate

The+Model+Congress+boys+show+off+their+formal+attire.
The Model Congress boys show off their formal attire.

The Model Congress boys show off their formal attire.

Avery McKay

Avery McKay

The Model Congress boys show off their formal attire.

Kate Farmer and Bikal Sharma

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The weekend of November 18-19 was certainly one to remember as Maggie Walker students dominated academic tournaments and truly lived up to the school’s “Government and International Studies” title. Three separate clubs- Model United Nations, Model Congress, and Walker Debate- all participated in conferences on that weekend, making memories and bringing home multiple awards!

The MLWGS Model United Nations club attended the 16th annual William and Mary High School Model United Nations (WMHSMUN) . The conference spanned three days with five committee sessions. Notable committees included the 1800 US Election, House of Cards’ Underwood Administration, BRentrance (an alternate BRexit), and the Ad Hoc Hillary Clinton Administration (alternate 2016 election results). The Maggie Walker delegation competed well, winning the Most Charitable Delegation Chiusano Award, three Verbal Commendations, five Honorable Mentions, and a best delegate award.

Club co-president Aditya Kannoth said that he was “impressed with the enthusiasm and fantastic work ethic of each and every delegate.” Best Delegate Will Hoffler reflected that “The experience was awesome. I enjoy the fast pace debate and also having the opportunity to collaborate with students from across the nation in an academic environment like William and Mary.” Sophomore Kaya Lee pointed out “This was my first MUN conference and I honestly had an amazing time.” Julia Ochsenhirt, her co-delegate, “thought it was great to have a co-delegate and hang out in Williamsburg. It was super fun.”

While their sentiments echoed around many of the other delegates interviewed, others chose to talk about the more unexpected things that they felt. Probably overwhelmed by the formal atmosphere and uniform western-business attire, freshman Senthil Meyyappan noted that “It was the oldest I’ve ever felt in my life.” All in all, delegates expressed an appreciation for the educational and enjoyable conference and the time spent touring Williamsburg or engaging in conversation until 3:00 am. Despite near cancellation due to a lack of chaperones, crowded shuttle buses whenever one left the hotel, and almost losing a delegate, the trip was a resounding success for the MLWGS Model UN club.

The Maggie Walker Model Congress team brought their A-game that weekend to the annual Princeton Model Congress convention in Washington D.C., hosted in the historic Omni Hotel. The conference lasted four days, each day packed full with committee sessions, House and Senate gatherings, and presentations, with free time spent exploring the city’s many landmarks and attractions. During the sessions, members pushed to pass their bills, each of which had been crafted before the conference and were relevant to the delegate’s congressional committee. Although it was a lot of work and delegates worked long days, the students were pumped to represent the school and rub elbows with over a thousand other politically-minded people at the conference. Freshman Sophie Li (‘20) explained that meeting other delegates was a highlight of the trip for her, along with learning more about political processes. “My favorite part was meeting all the new people, and learning how to public speak,” described Li, “and I got to really know a bunch of people from this school as well.”  Echoed senior Priya Singh (‘18), “A highlight for me was meeting a lot of the underclassmen. Before this trip, I didn’t really know many underclassmen, but.. midnight storytimes are the best!” She continued, “And even though I did not win an award this year, I’m really happy that I went and that I got to spend time with the Model Congress crew.”

Donovan Reynolds (‘18), club president and four-year attendee of the conference, emphasized that this year was one of the most successful yet. “This year, we had the largest number we’ve ever had come. It’s [not only] a great place to make friends, but an excellent way to learn about contemporary issues and voice your opinions in an effective way.” Concerning the nature of the conference, Reynolds added, “It’s really special that you can be there and meet people from all over the country, and debate with them. And the United States is the greatest country in the world.”

The MLWGS Debate Team, comprised of the Lincoln-Douglas (LD) and Public Forum (PF)Sub-Teams, competed in the Madison County High School Regional Debate Tournament. Despite the group’s small size, both LD and PF dominated in their fields, leading to Maggie Walker coming in first place for the debate sweepstakes trophy, meaning they won the most debate rounds of any school present. There were numerous individual victories, most notably junior Cole Mier (‘19) who was awarded first place in LD debate. Grady Trexler (‘19) received  third place in the LD competition, and new LD debater Tejas Muthusamy (‘20) secured fourth. Additionally, PF partners Anisha Sharma (‘18) and Andrew Shin (‘18) were awarded second place, with Ethan Ringer and John Staley awarded fourth. Not only was the trip incredibly successful, the team had a great time representing MLWGS and meeting other like-minded speakers. LD debater Cole Mier commented that he “was super excited to win first place! Preparing for debate takes a lot of work and effort, but the debates themselves are a lot of fun. I was just happy to be going up against so many smart and talented competitors.”

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