Warren Hills Models the Congress

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Warren Hills Models the Congress

“It’s important for students to know how our government works because pretty soon we’re going to be voting and taking part in it, so we need to know what’s going on,” said junior Gigi Ali. (Photo courtesy of Mrs. Penny Giamoni)

“It’s important for students to know how our government works because pretty soon we’re going to be voting and taking part in it, so we need to know what’s going on,” said junior Gigi Ali. (Photo courtesy of Mrs. Penny Giamoni)

“It’s important for students to know how our government works because pretty soon we’re going to be voting and taking part in it, so we need to know what’s going on,” said junior Gigi Ali. (Photo courtesy of Mrs. Penny Giamoni)

“It’s important for students to know how our government works because pretty soon we’re going to be voting and taking part in it, so we need to know what’s going on,” said junior Gigi Ali. (Photo courtesy of Mrs. Penny Giamoni)

Aidan McHenry, Staff Reporter

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Warren Hills’ Debate Team packed their bags in late February and headed to the Harvard Model Congress conference in Boston, Massachusetts, with two students bringing home awards.

Harvard Model Congress is a non-profit organization founded in 1986 for high school students as a government simulation conference and is the oldest of its kind. Schools from all over the country come to participate and many new relationships are formed through the competitive learning experience.

There are also conferences in San Francisco, Madrid, Hong Kong, Dubai, and Sao Paulo.

Junior Kirsten Dorman won Best Delegate in the House Committee of Oversight and Government Reform. Senior Nicholas Paruta won Honorable Mention for representing Italy in the Group of 20 Special Program.

Dorman said she was not even expecting an award ceremony.

“Attending the conference and seeing everyone do so well was such an enjoyable experience that I can’t wait to come back next year,” she said. “I found out that there was an award ceremony at the end and then I was very surprised to have won something against all of these private and charter schools. It was an honor.”

Paruta said he learned valuable lessons in debate from the conference.

“Harvard Model Congress is fundamentally different from other debate conferences in that you debate for up to five hours in a session and it’s more intense,” he said.

Senior Kieran Bonsignore and Juniors Catherine Hayes, Nicolette Hourihan, and Grace Kohansby all were granted partial or full scholarships to attend the conference.

This is the 20th year that Warren Hills has attended.  The team was accompanied on the trip by Debate Team Advisor Penny Giamoni and English teacher Andrew Oakley, who served as a chaperone.

Giamoni said it is one of the most intensive competitions nationally. She anticipates tough competition every year as a public school competing against private schools.

Giamoni also expressed her joy regarding the team’s achievements and camaraderie.

“The most enjoyable part was watching them get excited about what they were doing in their committees,” Giamoni said.

Giamoni also hopes that the juniors she brought to the Model Congress participate again next year.

“I’m really proud of my team because it was their first year for everyone,” said Giamoni. “The fact that we won two major awards is pretty exciting, and they really enjoyed it.”