The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 13, 2013

Jefferson’s Model U.N. program still going strong

By DEVASTASHA BEAVER — dbeaver@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — With new advisors at both the senior high and junior high levels, Jefferson's Model U.N. program is thriving.

The Model U.N. program is not only an extra-curricular activity at Jefferson Area High School, but it is now a scheduled course offered during the day. At the junior high level, however, it is still offered only before school twice a week.

Don Palm, high school Model U.N. teacher and advisor, said, "It's a transitional year and a trial year. We wanted to make sure we got the high school program off to a good start, so we just started the junior high program in the second nine-weeks (grading period)."

He said that social studies teacher, Sarah Lane, is the advisor for the junior high program. The junior high program currently has 10 students involved.

The Model U.N. high school class has about 18 students, with about 40 total in the high school program, said Palm. “It’s a new experience for me, but I understand the Jefferson legacy of Model U.N., and I’ve met with Dr. (John) Patterson to get advice and tips. We’re staying in contact.”

He said the high school group is preparing for the Model U.N. Conference in Chicago that will be held in February. “We will be going to two additional conferences in the spring, one at Westminster, and the other at Kent Youngstown.”

He said, “We’re excited to be able to bring the junior high and senior high groups together for some things. It’s important to make that connection and encourage the junior high students to pursue it, so our numbers are still strong when they get to the senior high level.”

“There are great life skills you learn in Model U.N.,” Palm said. “You learn to be comfortable speaking in public and how to develop arguments ... It’s such a neat program and we’re happy to be a part of it.”