Chatham Delegation Finishes Strong at 72nd Model Congress
Chatham High School students stepped into the shoes of senators and representatives at the 72nd Model Congress, a three-day academic competition simulating the activities of the United States’ Legislative Branch. The January event attracted schools from throughout New York and New England and was hosted by the American International College in Springfield, MA. Chatham’s delegation finished strong, passing legislation and bringing home special recognition for teamwork and good sportsmanship.
Chatham’s team was comprised of students from the school’s Model Congress Club. They came to the contest armed with two bills they had spent weeks preparing- one regulating the use of hydrofracking in the natural gas industry, the other reforming U.S. practices for recycling nuclear waste. Prior to the meet they carefully drafted and redrafted their bill proposals, researched the issues and studied parliamentary procedure.
During the competition students proposed, argued, and defended the merits of their bills while AIC faculty judged the participants on their debating and oratorical skills. Only well-crafted and thoughtfully argued bill proposals stood up to the scrutiny and any school that passed a bill into “law” was considered a winner.
The preparation paid off and Chatham’s delegation successfully navigated the competition’s committee rooms and general assembly to gather the votes they needed to pass their hydrofracking bill. The students also walked away with the Team Spirit Award, given to the delegation that displayed the most cooperation, positive energy and sportsman-like conduct.
2012 marks the CHS Model Congress Club’s fifth year competing at the American International College’s Model Congress. This official school club meets after school and is co-advised by CHS social studies teachers Sesame Campbell and Mark Pearson.
Chatham High School’s Model Congress Club at the 72nd Annual Model Congress. Front row: Ellis Okawa-Scannell, Chelsea Palladino, Geena Eglin, Cathy Fowler, Phil Curran, Jameson Connor, Cassidy Palladino. Back Row: co-advisor Sesame Campbell, Karlee Shields, Annabelle Hinkel, Hannah Gregg, Maura McKeon, Kaitlin Hunter, Caitlin Gilligan, JJ Ciampoli, Georgie Richer, Elizabeth Paolucci, Kelly Shanahan, Emma Roberts, Faith Avens, Alli Mesick, co-advisor Mark Pearson.