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May 9, 2013

Whittier successfully debates world issues

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Whittier senior Amber Rogers joined her school’s Model United Nations Club just this year, but wished she’d joined earlier.

“It made me come out of my shell and get better at public speaking,” said Rogers, who is studying health occupations.

It was her first competition and when it began, she was nervous and afraid to speak.

“I felt like I didn’t prepare enough, but then after the first time I spoke, I realized I had done more research than others and that gave me confidence and I continued to talk, and I won a medal,” she said.

Senior Kyle Stuart of Haverhill won a Best Individual Delegate award for his skills representing Saudi Arabia on environmental issues such as threatened oceans, rare earth mineral extractions and a fish crisis.

“I prepared my arguments for three days and felt they were strong,” Stuart said. “I enjoy the speaking aspect of debating.”

Stuart, an electronics/robotics student, was named Best Delegate by the chairperson of his committee, a UMass student majoring in international relations.

“Everyone on his committee knew he was going to win,” said Gilmore. “He talked a lot and kept bringing up different points and they were always strong.”

Gilmore and Rogers both received Honorable Mentions while seniors Eric Pomer (electronics/robotics) of Groveland, Matthew Ganias (automotive technology) of Haverhill and Stuart won People’s Choice awards, bestowed by their peers on each committee.

It was Gilmore’s seventh high school debate and her first time on the aggressive U.N. Security Council. She represented South Africa and debated Israeli-Palestinian conflicts and Iran’s nuclear proliferation.

“I like being able to argue without getting angry at people,” Gilmore said.

To prepare, she had to memorize the details of nine Security Council resolutions, each one between 10 and 15 pages. They detailed the future of nuclear proliferation and peace talks that had failed.

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