Which high schools have the best Model UN team in North America? We devised a rankings system that answers this question in order to recognize the top teams on the circuit for their accomplishments.
Please read the methodology article first before jumping into the rankings. We clarify in the article our purpose for doing rankings, our philosophy that drives what we value in the rankings, and our methodology.
With that said, here are the top 1-5 Model UN teams in North America! All of them have won multiple delegation awards this year. Their ability to not only win big but demonstrate consistent high-level performance is what makes the top five stand out from the rest.
Fall 2011 High School Model UN Rankings: North America Top 1-5
1. Huntington Beach High School (California)
Huntington Beach may not have all the head-to-head victories on its resume but it does have something that no other team has: a circuit-high of four large delegation awards already. The team started off winning one of two Best Large Delegations at the neighboring Edison EHSMUN conference (the other went to Mira Costa). It then split its team up in November to capture delegation awards at two back-to-back high-profile conferences. Huntington Beach won Best California Delegation (roughly equivalent to Outstanding Large in our converted points) at UCLA BruinMUN and won Best Large Delegation at William & Mary WMHSMUN (converted to the equivalent of Outstanding Large since the Coon Trophy is the highest award at that conference). Finally, it took on its California rivals again at Regionals RHSMUN and came away with Best Large Delegation. One Huntington Beach delegate remarked after winning at RHSMUN, “this should boost us up the rankings.” Indeed it did, all the way to #1. Huntington Beach will be defending Best Large Delegation awards at Berkeley BMUN, UC San Diego TritonMUN, and Mission Viejo MVHSMUN. The team will have a tough time staying at #1 in our rankings because the team is not traveling to the East Coast this year (where a majority of our highest weighted conferences are), but that’s because the team has even bigger travel plans — they’re going to Europe for the THIMUN-affiliated Haarlem HMUN conference. The team also hosts its Surf City MUN conference in February. Huntington Beach is advised by Shaun Haney and Bill Harmicar.
2. University of Chicago Lab School (Illinois)
Chicago Lab, like many Midwestern schools, has a scheduling disadvantage as there are not many conferences available in the Midwest, but the team has made the most out of its traveling resources to compete at two conferences in different regions of the United States before attending one at home. Chicago Lab started its season by traveling to Georgia Tech GTMUN where it won an Outstanding Delegation award. It then split its team for an away conference and a home conference on back-to-back weekends. The away team won Best Small Delegation at Princeton PMUNC and the home team won Outstanding Large Delegation at the MUNDO-hosted Chicago CIMUN. These three results place it at #2 in our Fall rankings, and it’s impressive given the team’s need to perform at less than full strength while traveling. It will continue an away-and-home schedule that includes Harvard HMUN and Northwestern NUMUN. Chicago Lab is advised by Paul Horton.
3. Port Charlotte High School (Florida)
Port Charlotte High School is the only large team to go undefeated at two major conferences so far this year and they have done so in dominating fashion. It also has a penchant for racking up best large delegation awards that feature a named-trophy. Port Charlotte continued its winning streak at Georgia Tech by winning its 11th consecutive George P. Burdell Cup for Best Delegation and it took home an Outstanding Delegation as well (GTMUN gives awards by country). It then dominated at William & Mary WMHSMUN by winning 11 of 17 gavels to take home the Coon Award for Diplomacy (also equivalent to a Best Large Delegation). Port Charlotte has a solid case to be the top-ranked team at the moment — it owns head-to-head wins over the two teams ranked above it but places at #3 since those two teams have a higher total score by winning more times so far (which is what our rankings measure). Port Charlotte will get to add to their resume when its season continues at Harvard HMUN, George Washington WAMUNC, and Florida Gulf Coast’s SWLFMUN. Port Charlotte is advised by Bob Johnson.
4. The Dalton School (New York)
The Dalton School started off at with a very strong warmup performance at Horace Mann HoMMUNC where it took 8 of 10 Best Delegate awards (novice conferences aren’t counted in our rankings) and then went back to Rutgers RUMUN to defend its Best Large Delegation award. It then competed at Princeton PMUNC where it took home the Outstanding Large Delegation award in a very competitive field. These pair of delegation awards enables the team to place in the top five. Dalton may not have beaten one team, Horace Mann, but it has beaten many more teams in the Northeast than their rival has at to this point in the season. Dalton will get to strengthen its profile with two very competitive conferences — it’ll travel south to Georgetown NAIMUN before flying across the country to Berkeley BMUN.
5. Mira Costa High School (California)
Mira Costa is off to another strong start as it has won a large delegation award every month this Fall. Mira Costa was one of two teams to win a Best Large Delegation award at Edison EHSMUN (the other went to Huntington Beach). Mira Costa, which rotates its travel conferences every year, had McGill SSUNS in Canada on the schedule this year and brought back a Best Large Delegation award from that conference. The team then went to Regionals RHSMUN and came home with an Outstanding Large Delegation award. This consistency puts it in the top five and will serve it well as it heads to Georgetown NAIMUN, Berkeley BMUN, UC San Diego TritonMUN, and Huntington Beach’s Surf City MUN next semester. Mira Costa also hosted its novice conference, LAIMUN, and attends several others: Santa Margarita SOCOMUN, Cerritos CHSMUN, and Huntington Beach novice. Mira Costa is advised by Bob Timberlake and Wayne Knutson.
Congrats to all the teams! Keep in mind that this ranking is intended to measure competitive success during this Fall only. Many teams have not had the chance to participate at multiple conferences, at a large conference, or even at a single conference yet and there are many conferences to come. Good luck with your preparations and enjoy winter break!