MANCHESTER — Burr and Burton Academy's Model United Nations has been acknowledged as one of the top 25 such groups in North America for the 2015-2016 school year.

The recognition comes from Best Delegate, an organization that was founded in 2010 by veteran Model U.N. participants Ryan Villanueva and Kevin Felix Chan. The group organizes Model UN training programs at university campuses and schools in 20 countries throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. It also runs the Model United Nations Institute, which is held at several universities across the U.S. every year.

The top 25 rankings are based on top performance at the six largest and most competitive conferences: Berkeley Model U.N., Georgetown Model U.N., Ivy League Model U.N. Conference, Model U.N. of the University of Chicago, North American Invitational Model U.N., and the National High School Model U.N. It also includes the "Best Large Delegation" winners at nine other large conferences. BBA qualified for the list by being named best large delegation at the Boston Invitational Model United Nations Conference, which was held at Boston University earlier this year.

"This result is yet another example of what happens when talented, dedicated students work with a masterful teacher," said BBA Headmaster Mark Tashjian, "The students worked tremendously hard throughout the year to hone their skills, and we are proud not only of this recognition, but especially of their efforts."


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BBA student Model U.N. participants were CeCe Szkutak, Joshua Coppola, Tyler Jager, Natalie Johnson, Michael Caggiano, Alex Weinstein, Maddie Zeif, Chris Kornaros, Amelia Nick, Tobias Lepecki, Arianna Blanchard, Will Sambrook, Ramsay Eyre, Nate Gourd, Nico Avalle-Embree, Miles Glazier, and Russell Bartlett.

"Under the leadership of BBA teacher Kendra LaRoche, the Burr and Burton Model UN program is an innovative educational program that engages BBA high school students in an exploration of current world issues through interactive simulations and curricular materials," the school said in a press release, "The program cultivates literacy, life skills and the attitudes necessary for active global citizenship."

"Recognition as one of the Top 150 North American Model UN teams is based solely on travel team (delegate) performance at the largest or most competitive conferences held in the United States and Canada during the 2015-2016 school year," Best Delegate explains on its website, "This list does not capture other definitions of success such as conference organizing or civic engagement, and therefore is not a list of the Top 150 Model UN programs in North America — many programs focus beyond just winning awards at MUN conferences."

BBA is the only Vermont school to appear in either the Top 25 or the Top 150. It also is the only New England school in the Top 25. Other New England schools in the Top 150 are: Beaver Country Day School, Concord Academy, Dana Hall School, Deerfield Academy, Inter-American Honor Team, Lexington High School, Milton Academy and St. John's High School in Massachusetts; Phillips Exeter Academy and Bedford High School in New Hampshire; Greenwich High School, The Hotchkiss School, Loomis Chaffee School, New Canaan High School and New Fairfield High School in Connecticut; Lincoln School of Rhode Island; and Waynflete School and Cape Elizabeth High School in Maine,

Contact Derek Carson at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.