WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Laurel Springs School, a leading pioneer in online K-12 education, hosted a first-of-its-kind virtual Model United Nations (UN) conference on Friday, May 8, with participation from the Lebanese American University of New York (LAU). Laurel Springs has been the only online school delegation to participate in the official Global Classrooms International (GCI) Model UN Conference for the last eight years.
The online event opened with a statement from Elie Samia, Program Director at the LAU, followed by the presentation of position papers by Laurel Springs’ 18 student delegates, who this year represented Spain and were assigned to real-world issues that correlate with actual UN committees. A panel from the LAU, which hosts the annual GCI Model UN Conference in New York, NY, then evaluated the work of the Laurel Springs Model UN club members. The event was convened by Marilyn Mosley-Gordanier, Founder of Laurel Springs and Secretary of the United States Association of the Club of Rome.
“The LAU panel gladly commemorated the investment of time and energy of Laurel Springs’ delegates and offered feedback that conveys the pillars of Model United Nations leadership and collaboration,” said Samia.
Thea Flanzer, 17, is a senior at Laurel Springs and has served as the General Assembly President of the Model UN club for two years.
“The Model UN club at Laurel Springs has formed a community that transcends distance, with members participating anywhere from Missouri to Australia,” said Flanzer. “Through this club, I have competed and sponsored papers at the GCI Model UN Conference three times, visited the United Nations, and made many close friends.”
The experience with Model UN, Flanzer says, has been crucial to her education in leadership and was her “favorite part” of her education at Laurel Springs.
“During the COVID-19 crisis, Laurel Springs has ensured that the Model UN club continues to be a source of joy for students,” she said.
Flanzer will attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in the fall and hopes to compete on the university’s Model UN team.
“Using their mastery of online learning, our hard-working and adaptive student delegates successfully and safely organized this unique virtual event,” said Rachelle Wafer, Student Engagement Manager at Laurel Springs. “For our five senior delegates, the virtual Model UN conference allowed them to complete their work with the Laurel Springs club despite the challenges presented by social distancing measures.”