Global Citizenship: 50 NCHS Students Participate in ‘Model UN Club’

New Canaan High School’s Model UN Club promotes a non-U.S.-centric worldview where participating students debate nuanced issues that show them a different perspective and help them become “global citizens,” according to one of the team’s leaders. A central question facing Model UN members is not just “How can I become a good U.S. citizen?” but “How can I become a good global citizen?” according to NCHS senior Melissa Rizzo, who joined Model UN as a fifth-grader at the Zurich International School and continued in New Canaan when she arrived at Saxe Middle School as an eighth grader. A secretary general on the team overseeing three Model UN captions and its executive board, Rizzo said she and others on the team “are exposed to a diverse range of global issues and cultures.” “

“Particularly in The Hague, sitting adjacent to 150 students who are from all over the world, you truly see the different cultures and how it comes into play in debate and how it is important to have an entity such as the UN that addresses issues—global issues—in a way that is individual and productive for each nation,” she told members of the Board of Education during their regular meeting Monday, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. 

The comments came prior to the school board voting unanimously to approve an overnight field trip for the NCHS Model UN program. Rizzo in delivering her presentation was joined at the podium by faculty advisor Paul Phillips. Model UN is a program that helps develop research, critical thinking, persuasion, collaboration and public speaking skills, Rizzo said.

Board of Ed Unanimously Elects Katrina Parkhill as Chair, Phil Hogan as Vice Chair

The Board of Education on Monday night elected Katrina Parkhill as chair. A Republican member of the Board since 2017 who served as chair through the COVID-19 pandemic—from late-2019 through last November—Parkhill was unanimously elected during a brief organizational meeting at the start of the BOE’s regular meeting. In nominating Parkhill, Board member Hugo Alves said, “I’d like to nominate Katrina to be chair of the board if she’d do it again.”

“Obviously it’s been an interesting time and an unfortunate one considering the circumstances, but Katrina has at least proven to me and the rest of us in town that she not only cares about the town, cares about the school system, she’s got the experience to lead and I think that whatever transition we experience over the course of the rest of the year, it would be helpful and important to have some continuity and that level of experience,” Alves said at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. Board members Bob Naughton, Brendan Hayes, Parkhill, Erica Schwedel, Alves, Phil Hogan and Penny Rashin voted 7-0 in favor of Parkhill. Board member Julie Toal was absent.