Thirty-nine students from Northern Middle School attended the Kentucky United Nations Assembly (KUNA) on March 3-5 at the Downtown Marriott Hotel in Louisville, KY. KUNA is a program of the KY YMCA to engage students in global awareness and public speaking opportunities. At KUNA, students presented resolutions or legislation to a "mock United Nations assembly" ran by Kentucky middle school students. NMS represented the West African countries of Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone at the conference. There were over 20 schools and 700 students represented at KUNA from around the state.
Students prepared for this conference months in advance by researching global issues that affect their assigned countries, then drafting resolutions to present in front of the general assembly. Resolutions sponsors for Ghana were Sawyer Gambill, Kaden Hewitt, and Cayden Lancaster. Resolution sponsors for Liberia included Mason Acton, Ryan Beam, Trey Hornsby, and Ana Muse. Resolution sponsors for Sierra Leone were Abigail Clevenger, Chandler Godby, Kameryn Hargis, and Halle Mayfield. All three resolutions passed in summit debate and were presented to the "secretary general" who endorsed the resolutions.
Sawyer Gambill, a first-time attendee and resolution sponsor said the following about his experience: "KUNA was an amazing experience that I will never forget. I learned a lot about other countries, global issues, and gained more confidence in public speaking. I look forward to going back next year."
Zach Smith, teacher at NMS and Y-Club advisor said, "We couldn't be more proud of our students for their performance at KUNA. They prepared for weeks, writing resolutions and speeches as well as making projects to represent their countries. It was rewarding to see them engage in debate with students they had never met before. This is a great conference for preparing students to learn about diplomacy and respectfully debating opposing viewpoints. Our students represented NMS and Pulaski County very well."
Awards and recognitions the NMS delegation received at KUNA included "Outstanding Country Representation", a top honor which is awarded to the school who best represents their countries through their Resolutions, Global Village Booth, Cultural Attire, and Country Signs. For participation in debate and exemplifying elements of diplomacy, NMS also received a "Premiere Delegation" award.
Individual awards and recognitions included 8th grader, Cayden Lancaster and 7th grader, Ana Muse receiving an "Outstanding Delegate" awards for their notable presence and performance in debate during committee, summit, and general assembly sessions. Jace Frye and Conner Phelps participated as summit parliamentarians. Also, Declan Hays attended the conference, representing NMS as a Supporting Officer who was in charge of implementing parliamentary procedures and running a committee room.
Y-Club advisors that attended the conference were Zach Smith, Jessica Wheeler, and Mona Eldridge.