MCHS students dominate at GUNA
By Michael Prochaska
Morgan County High School students dipped their toes into foreign affairs as mock diplomats on Feb. 27 through March 1 at the YMCA’s annual Georgia United Nations Assembly in Macon.
The competition was a simulated session of an international council in which “participants research a country, investigate international issues, debate, deliberate, consult, and then develop solutions to world problems,” according to GUNA’s webpage.
Senior Katherine Key, who represented Norway, took home the award for best female debater for a resolution on equal opportunity for women in peace making procedure.
She was inspired to choose Norway after watching the Norwegian Curlers in last year’s winter Olympics. “It’s the best place to live in the world. It has the highest standard of living,” Key said.
Garrett Godbey and Benjamin Thurston received the “best nation” award for portraying Germany, Michael Raven took home best male debater, and Reed Pagett and Ryan McSherry won best costume for a team that represented Italy.
“It is so moving to me to observe them standing in front of a group and being articulate and knowledgeable,” said Jennifer Eberhart, a social studies teacher at Morgan County High School who enjoys supervising students on the annual trip.
She said Emily Jones, the senior presiding officer for high school debate, did a professional job following parliamentary procedure and directing speakers.
Eberhart said it makes her proud that the kids who put their heart into the research and debate can grasp how foreign politics work in the real world.
Key said the simulation taught her that the UN imposes more guidelines than actual laws. ”There have been some frustrating times when you can’t stop a country from doing what it wants, even with a request,” she said.
Because students and judges prepared resolutions weeks prior to the event, the liberation movements in the Middle East were only discussed outside of the debates, but one of the more impromptu discussions was on a crisis in which four nations formed their own block, reminiscent of a Cold War era.
The debate was adopted by senior Katherine Cooper.
Printed in the March 17th, 2011 edition.