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West Hartford Student Wins Top Honor at Yale Model UN Conference

KO’s Model UN team has won awards at Yale’s Model UN competition in each of the 13 years in which it has competed. Submitted photo

Kingswood Oxford continues its 13-year winning streak at Yale Model UN.

KO’s Model UN team has won awards at Yale’s Model UN competition in each of the 13 years in which it has competed. Submitted photo

KO’s Model UN team has won awards at Yale’s Model UN competition in each of the 13 years in which it has competed. Submitted photo

Submitted by Kingswood Oxford School

For the 13th year in a row, KO’s Model UN team performed extremely well at Yale’s Model UN conference on Jan. 22-25, winning several top awards, including “Best Position Paper” out of 1,600 entries from across the world.

Benjamin Waldman ’16, representing Russia, wrote the award-winning position paper, “Water Wealth – Tsunamis and Shrinking Islands.” This is the first time a KO student has won this top honor. Each of the 1,600 students who attended YMUN (Yale Model UN) was given a copy of Waldman’s paper to take home as a model of an exemplary paper.

Waldman, of West Hartford, was also named Best Delegate for his representation of Russia on the Water Security Committee.

This year, Benjamin Waldman ’16 was honored for writing the “Best Position Paper” out of 1,600 delegates at the event. Submitted photo

This year, Benjamin Waldman ’16 was honored for writing the “Best Position Paper” out of 1,600 delegates at the event. Submitted photo

Other KO awards winners were Talia Zimmerman ’15 of South Windsor and Noa Silverstein ’15 of West Hartford, named Outstanding Delegates for representing Indonesia on the Southeast Asia ASEAN, and Gabrielle Ruban ’18 of Farmington and Zachary Mendelovici ’15 of Glastonbury, named Most Improved delegates for representing Russia in the Group of 8.

The KO team, led by History teacher and Model UN advisor Stacey Savin, included 43 Upper School students representing Russia, Sweden, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, and Palestine.

Since its inception 13 years ago, students in the Model UN program have consistently won awards not only at YMUN, but also at the Yale Model Government Europe Conferences in Budapest and Prague.

In March, the team will travel to Madrid, Spain, as the only U.S. school competing at the Harvard Model Congress Europe Conference.

“I am so proud of what KO Model UN has accomplished over these years, and of the wonderful students I’ve worked with,” said Savin. ”They are invested in the future, learning about global problems, and brainstorming ways to solve them. To me, they are all winners.”

Led by Savin, the Upper School Model UN team will now shift into high planning gear for the third annual KOMUN (Kingswood Oxford Model UN for Middle Schools). Founded in 2013 by Savin, KOMUN offers students in grades 6-8 the opportunity to develop the research, writing, discussion, and presentation skills that are intrinsic to Model UN participation and critical to success in high school – and beyond. KOMUN ’15 will be held at KO on Saturday, Mar. 21, 2015.

Savin said that at least three KOMUN “graduates” who are now in high school competed this year at YMUN, with one of them taking home an award.

Kingswood Oxford has long been known for producing clear, confident communicators; resourceful problem solvers; and innovative and ethical leaders, here and across the globe. To apply, contact the Admissions Office at 860-727-5000 or admissions@k-o.org. Only those applications received by Feb. 2, 2015, will be eligible for merit scholarships, for which financial need is not a prerequisite.

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