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Port Chester High School Students Thrive, Win Award At Model United Nations

From left to right, Jonathan Cisneros, Ryan Basso, Eli Taylor-Lemire, Karmen Pantoja and Larabe Iqbal. Pantoja, a senior, won an award for the best position paper at the Model UN conference.
From left to right, Jonathan Cisneros, Ryan Basso, Eli Taylor-Lemire, Karmen Pantoja and Larabe Iqbal. Pantoja, a senior, won an award for the best position paper at the Model UN conference. Photo Credit: Provided

ARMONK, N.Y. – A Port Chester High School senior was among those honored at a Model United Nations conference held recently at John Jay High School, according to Port Chester school officials.

Karmen Pantoja, one of five Port Chester students to compete at John Jay, won the award for best position paper for her work while representing John Paul Jones for the American Revolution Crisis Committee, according to the school district.

Joining Pantoja from Port Chester High School were senior Larabe Igbal, sophomores Ryan Basso and Eli Taylor-Lemire and freshman Jonathan Cisneros, according to the district, which said each student was selected to attend the conference after six weeks of research and presentation.

Initiated in October, Port Chester's Model UN Club – which is run by teachers Joseph Gilson and Porfirio Gonzowtiz – hopes to again compete later this school year, according to the district.

At Armonk, the club's work included:

  • Igbal’s representation of Pakistan for the International Court of Justice Committee, which examined the conflicts between the United States and Iran, the United States and Mexico and Russia and Crimea.
  • Basso’s representation of Russell Westbrook for the National Basketball Association Committee, which discussed the current conflicts with NBA labor negotiations.
  • Taylor-Lemire’s representation of Tanzania for the World Health Organization, which examined coordinating international responses to epidemics of the 21st century and the construction of infrastructure in developing countries.
  • Cisneros’ representation of Bob Ogden for the Ministry of Magic Committee. Based on the Harry Potter series, the committee determined how magic could be used between Muggles and Non-Muggles.

According to the school district, Model UN is an educational simulation of the United Nations that allows students to learn about diplomacy, international relations and the workings of the United Nations through competition.

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