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High school debate team tests their skills at Model UN event

by Kristin Morehouse, PSHS Speech and Debate Coach

The Pirate Speech and Debate Team took Adams State University by storm as international delegates in the first annual Southern Colorado Model UN: SOCOMUN October 19 and 20, 2018.

Nine debaters researched, wrote papers and delivered speeches (both prepared and impromptu) on genocide and on women's right to equal access to technology in developing countries.  

These nine teens played the role of countries they were assigned in delivering speeches in moderated and un-moderated discussions. They drafted formal resolutions with delegates representing other member nations. The Adams State Model UN team hosted the event providing the instruction and support for the event itself. They created a safe and welcoming environment where our debaters thrived in their ability to work collaboratively with teens from other towns in listening to each other's perspectives and concerns in creatively solving some of the world's biggest problems.  

The Pagosa Springs High School Speech and Debate Team spent their weekend making new friends, becoming more competent citizens, growing their own voices, and encouraging each other. The nine Model UN delegates were: Desiray Martin, Yasmin Moncada, Gisel Moncada, Yolanda Salas, Jaden Keating, Emma Happ, Makayla Garcia, Katriel Davies, and David Morehouse. There were several delegates who received distinguished awards for their scholarship: Katriel Davies and Emma Happ received Honorable Mentions as Distinguished Delegates.  Yolanda (Yoli) Salas received an honorable mention for written position paper representing Venezuela’s views on her country’s role in curtailing genocide occurring within another sovereign nation.

This was the first of many annual Model UN experiences at Adams State University for our Speech and Debate Team.  We are fortunate that Archuleta School District continues to support our students as they grow and that Adams State Model UN offered such a spectacular event for our students. Every member on the team wrote a position paper and delivered multiple speeches over the two day event. Pirate debaters are working hard and enjoying noticeable growth this season.

PSHS debate team at Model UN


PSHS debate team at Model UN


PSHS debate team at Model UN

What is Model UN?

According to Wikipedia: "Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an educational simulation and/or academic activity in which students can learn about diplomacyinternational relations, and the United Nations. MUN involves and teaches participants speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities.Usually an extracurricular activity, some schools also offer Model UN as a class. It is meant to engage students and allow them to develop deeper understanding into current world issues." Read more at