Return to Headlines

Henry Clay’s Model United Nations perseveres through challenging year

Despite the global pandemic challenges of the 2020-21 school year, members of Henry Clay High School’s Model United Nations (MUN) -- the only program of its kind in Kentucky -- flourished in international competitions at six virtual conferences sponsored by top tier higher educational institutions. Henry Clay’s program provides a forum for passionate students to discuss global issues, develop debate and public speaking skills, and create innovative solutions for some of the most pressing concerns in the world today. During the past year, the need for global solidarity has become ever so clear. Whether fighting a pandemic, understanding international social movements, or combatting climate change, these Henry Clay students develop skills for active U.S. and global citizenship.

On May 10 in Frankfort, Gov. Andy Beshear presented an acclamation paying tribute to the Model United Nations program for representing Henry Clay and Kentucky and for persevering through this challenging school year.

Following is a wrap-up of the 2020-21 accolades. For questions, please contact sponsors Scott Brown and Robbie Biddle

Taylor Galavotti Cambridge Virtual Model United Nations Conference: Sept. 20, 2020

This was Henry Clay’s first time attending CUIMUN -- based in the United Kingdom and one of the oldest MUN conferences in Europe -- and the first time experiencing Model UN abroad.

  • Taylor Galavotti, senior, “Best Delegate” award for representing the Slovak Republic in the North American Treaty Organization;
  • Bella Galavotti, sophomore, “Best Speaker” award for representing the Republic of Moldova in the NATO;
  • Grayson Kemplin, junior, “Honorable Delegate” for representing Saudi Arabia in the United Nations Development Program.

William & Mary Model United Nations Conference: Oct. 23-25, 2020; Nov. 6-8, 2020

From debating algorithms in the YouTube Creators Forum to exploring the world of TV series “Parks and Recreation” in the Pawnee City Council, students immersed themselves in unique situations where they collaborated to solve problems in a timely manner.

  • Taylor Galavotti, senior, “Best Delegate” award for representing President Carles Puidgemont in the JCC Catalan Crisis Committee;
  • Bella Galavotti, sophomore, “Outstanding Delegate” award for representing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Ad-Hoc Crisis Committee;
  • Grayson Kemplin, junior, “Honorable Mention” for representing Thor in the Ragnarok Crisis Committee;
  • Claire Baumann, junior, “Best Delegate” award for representing Frank Troncoso Hache in the Dominican Republic Election 2020 Crisis Committee. 

Bella Galavotti Yale Model United Nations Conference: Jan. 21-24, 2021

This was Henry Clay’s first year at the Yale event, where they experienced the prestige of the Ivy League while engaging in productive, relevant debate. The conference’s motto was “Learn today, lead tomorrow.”

  • Taylor Galavotti, senior, “Best Delegate” award for representing Slovakia in the European Council;
  • Grayson Kemplin, junior, “Outstanding Delegate” award for representing Afghanistan in the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Committee;
  • Claire Baumann, junior, “Honorable Delegate” for representing Guo Shengkun in the Politburo of the Communist Party of China Committee. 

Grayson Kemplin North American Invitational Model United Nations Conference: Feb. 12-14, 2021

NAIMUN, based at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., offered an essay and a video contest as students analyzed the complexities of such issues as immigration, globalization, and environmental stability.

  • Molly Wilcoxson, junior, first place in the International Essay Contest for “Redefining Globalization: Investigating the Relationship between Diversity and Internationalism”;
  • Taylor Galavotti, senior, “Book Award” for representing the Republic of China at the United Nations Security Council. 

Claire Baumann Washington Area Model United Nations Conference: March 4-7, 2021

WAMUNC, hosted at George Washington University in D.C., offered intense, time-crunched crisis committees and incredibly creative problems.

  • “Verbal Commendation” honors for the Henry Clay delegation;
  • “Best Small Delegation” award;
  • Claire Baumann, junior, “Best Delegate” award for representing Ben Shapiro in the Ad-Hoc Committee;
  • Grayson Kemplin, junior, “Outstanding Delegate” award for representing Jackson Wright in the JCC- Spies of the 60s- CIA Committee;
  • Katie Taylor, junior, “Verbal Commendation” award for representing Maura Jenkins in the JCC- Spies of the 60s- KGB Committee.

Molly Wilcoxson Ohio State Model United Nations Conference – Invitation: March 26-28, 2021

OSU featured an advanced crisis committee about the death of Joseph Stalin and a General Assembly committee in the United Nations Environment Program. Henry Clay’s kudos included:

  • Grayson Kemplin, junior, “Best Delegate” award for representing John Diefenbaker in the Cuban Missile Crisis Committee; and
  • “Best Small Delegation” award.

(Revised May 26; posted April 13, 2021)


Tammy L. Lane, district webmaster
(859) 381-4236