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Calloway Students Win Best Resolution at Mock United Nations Conference

Marshall Ward

A local group of students is being recognized by the state for their research and presentation of international issues at a mock United Nations conference in Louisville. 

The 2015 Kentucky YMCA United Nations Assembly, or KUNA, is a 3-day experimental learning conference for students to participate directly in simulated scenarios of international diplomacy. The conference challenges students to emphasize with other cultures while honing critical thinking skills with a variety of perspectives and global issues. 

45 schools from throughout the state participated this year representing 85 countries. Around 1,300 high school students attended the March 15-17 conference in Louisville. 

Calloway County High School’s students represented Uruguay and the Dominican Republic. The 16-student delegation returned with the award for Best Resolution for their address of the Human Trafficking epidemic. 

Calloway’s advisor Marshall Ward has been part of the school's participation since 2001. He says it was a gratifying experience to see the students’ hard academic work pay off.

“We did a resolution on human trafficking, focusing especially on women and children, and it was voted Best Resolution at the whole conference, which is a very special award,” said Ward. “That shows the students advocated their point-of-view and convinced a majority of the conference that their resolution was worthy of being passed.”

Credit Marshall Ward

Every year, schools' delegations select their country to represent. Students are also asked to dress in their country’s attire and present that nation’s flag. Ward says he often urges students to choose smaller, less represented countries rather than the United States, Russia, China or the UK because it proves to be a learning experience. 

“It gives the student a chance to actually have to think like they are a citizen of that country, and it’s pretty tough,” said Ward. “The whole idea is you are speaking as if you are a voice from that country. You’re not bringing your middle-class, Kentucky conservative point-of-view up there, you’re having to speak as though you’re from that country.”

CCHS students Clara Arnold, Noah Page and Jennifer Free presented the Delegates Choice Award resolution for Dominica to the entire General Assembly of 1,300 delegates. Ward said the students did great research on this important issue. 

“In the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is a place where a lot of human trafficking begins," said Ward. "Two of the main stops are Dominica and Guadalupe, and from there goes to places in North and South America. It’s almost like the slave trade and it’s almost like a middle passage for human trafficking for women and children for the sex trade and labor. The students didn’t know that and they really worked hard to show that even a small country like Dominica can convince the big security council countries that this is a problem that needs to be addressed.”

CCHS was the only school to receive a 100 percent pass rate on all their resolutions.

“We’ve been successful every time we’ve gone, but this time in particular because we got the Outstanding Resolution was satisfying for me because that shows a good academic achievement on the issues, that’s what I want to focus on," said Ward. 

Credit Marshall Ward

Other CCHS students participating were: 

  • Josh Betts, President of the International Court of Justice, led delegates from all over the state in arguing international case law regarding a dispute between Thailand and Cambodia.
  • Taylor Crouch, Maddie Rose, an Ambassador Award recipient, William Bloemer and Jose Villeda presented a resolution representing Uruguay concerning the epidemic problem of Drug Trafficking which passed and was sent to the Secretary General.
  • Logan Fry and Hunter Bailey represented Dominica and Uruguay in the Security Council which addressed the Ukrainian crisis and the fallout of ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
  • Jessica Williams participated in the Media Corps. 
  • Olivia Stokes and Bobbi Brashear created Placards for Dominica and Uruguay which were on display.
  • Josh Jones, Ian Postlethwaite and Jamie Foster prepared a Dominica dance routine for the International Stage before the conference.

Ward was inducted into the Advisor’s Hall of Fame for KY for his fifteen plus years of service.  Advisor Kathy Adams accompanied the group to Louisville. Linda Wray, a teacher at CCHS, helped with the flags with design and sewing expertise. 

Rob Canning is a native of Murray, KY, a 2015 TV Production grad of Murray State. At MSU, he served as team captain of the Murray State Rowing Club. Rob's goal is to become a screenwriter, film director or producer and looks to the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie for inspiration. He appreciates good music, mainly favoring British rock n' roll, and approves of anything with Jack White's name on it. When not studying, rowing or writing, Rob enjoys spending his free time with a book or guitar.
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