America’s Best High School Model UN Teams: Top 11-15

by KFC on March 28, 2011

Cerritos High School won delegation awards at NHSMUN and BMUN this season

Which high schools have the best Model UN team in America? The Best Delegate team decided to answer this question and devised a methodology to come up with our Top 25 Standings. The standings are based on results as of March 21, 2011 which allowed us to capture results from NHSMUN. The standings reflect only team performance at conferences and not the overall quality of a high school program (i.e. it does not measure if a program has a class or hosts a conference).

Here is the list of the top 11-15 high school Model UN teams. Most of these schools either won a Best Large Delegation award or its equivalent at a “Most Competitive” conference or won many awards at some of the top conferences in the country to put themselves a notch above those that placed in the top 16-25. Check out which schools made the list!

America’s Best High School Model UN Teams: Top 11-15 Standings (as of 3/21/11)

11. Richland Northeast High School (South Carolina)

Richland Northeast doesn’t get a lot of press throughout the season because there are not many major conferences in the Southeast, but they sure know how to shine against the best on the biggest stage. The team won Best Small Delegation at NHSMUN — an award that they have consistently won in the past 20 years — again this year.

12. Cerritos High School (California)

Cerritos High School has long been one of the strongest teams on the high school Model UN circuit. They had a younger team this year, but that didn’t stop them from winning Outstanding Small Delegation at NHSMUN and from sharing Best Large Delegation at Berkeley BMUN with California rivals Mira Costa High School and Huntington Beach High School.

13. Huntington Beach High School (California)

Huntington Beach is another team known for winning awards. They didn’t travel as much this season and their strongest win was sharing Best Large Delegation at Berkeley BMUN with California rivals Mira Costa High School and Cerritos High School. They also won a Best Large at the competitive Mission Viejo High School MUN conference (although it didn’t factor into the standings per our methodology).

14. Cambridge-Isanti High School (Minnesota)

Cambridge-Isanti’s team motto is “no excuses” and the team knows how to back that up. They only attended two conferences this year, U. Chicago MUNUC and Michigan UMMUN, and they made the most of it by winning numerous awards at MUNUC as Russian Federation. MUNUC does not give out Best Delegation awards, but by our unofficial count, the team would have placed second or earned an “Outstanding Large.”

15. Highland Park High School (Illinois)

Highland Park won a best delegation award at NHSMUN and and came in 2nd at U.Chicago MUNUC last year. They don’t have the same awards this year, but their results are still solid — they won Best Delegation at Illinois-Chicago’s CIMUN and had numerous delegates win awards at NHSMUN.

Check out the rest of the standings with the top 16-25!


What do you think about the schools that made our Top 25? Make sure to check back on March 30th for the top 6-10!

  • Derek

    It has to be Dalton, right? Those kids win everything.

    • KFC

      Keep checking back to find out!

      • Rebecca R

        It will probably be Mira Costa, because this site loves Mira Costa. I’m not sure if high schools can be compared that easily — Dalton has never gone up against Mira Costa in recent memory (I go to Dalton), so I don’t think you can rank high schools based on a few, disconnected result.

        • KFC


          You bring up a good point: it’s more difficult (compared to the college circuit) to measure high school teams since many do not go head-to-head against each other. However, we did assign a weighting to each conference and ranked them by competitiveness in our methodology, so while schools may not go up against each other head-to-head, they can be placed according to the strength of the awards they have won.

          It’s a process very similar to college football — teams don’t play everyone round-robin, so it’s possible to have several teams with the same records (including several undefeated teams) but the teams are still placed as #1, #2, and so forth based on the strength of the teams they have defeated (“strength of schedule”).

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  • JC

    Hi Best Delegate, Highland Park no longer attends MUNUC as we have found it not to be as good a conference to attend compared to other conferences like CIMUN. One problem with your methodology is that you assume that conference size is equal to competitiveness, which is flawed. Highland Park should be rated higher since we win awards where we attend, and we attend conferences where we learn more and gave a better MUN experience. We should not be penalized for attending less popular but more demanding, higher quality MUNs.

    • KFC

      Agreed on the fact that size should not be the only factor in weighting a conference. Numerous readers have brought this up already and several have provided constructive changes to the methodology in some of the other comments threads. Size will still be an important factor though — it’s an easily obtainable, standard and objective metric.

      Your argument may be correct but it is very subjective. If we want to measure team performance based on the “quality” of a conference (instead of the competitiveness of the conference), we would need to input a subjective measure (e.g. students’ or teachers’ opinion) into the methodology and somehow gain accurate data for that. And I can see many competitive schools will want to boost the quality score of the conference they attend in order to achieve a higher ranking unless the conference was actually a poor experience. While you may not have had a good experience at MUNUC, there are many who did. Similarly, while you may had a good experience at CIMUN, others may not have. We could substitute any two conference names for this example. The solution then would be to get a good sample size in order to capture a better cross-section of the participating schools.

  • John

    Huntington also won at the Surf City Conference with a gavel in almost every committee. And those were their sophomores. Going against seniors.

  • Ericka

    Richland Northeast is certainly an under-appreciated school. Not only did they win small school delegation, they received the research award at NHSMUN 2011 and best delegation in 2010 NHSMUN before awards were divided by size of school.

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