North America’s Best High School Model UN Teams: 2011-2012 Spring Rankings Top 25

by KFC on April 19, 2012

Horace Mann and other top 25 teams win the vast majority of the delegation awards or frequently contend for them

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 25 Model UN teams in North America plus some interesting stories and trends! Please keep into perspective that being ranked anywhere in our entire top 150 already puts these teams in the top 10% of all schools that attended Model UN conferences this year.

North America’s Best High School Model UN Teams: 2011-2012 Spring Rankings Top 25 “Best Delegations”

All of these teams have won or contended for a delegation award at one of the most competitive conferences — most of these have won or contended for several of them. In addition, they have also won a large delegation award at a large or regional conference or have consistently contended for them across conferences. There are plenty of head-to-head matchups at this level in the rankings so we’ve continued to rank the top 25 by individual places. Please keep in mind that this ranking is more comparable to last year’s top 25 ranking than our Fall rankings and that the rankings are based on an aggregate score from four conferences rather than head-to-head matchups. Again, here is the methodology that explains our philosophy and reasoning.

What were some of the major stories in the top 25? 

On the East Coast, everyone had been always gunning to beat Dalton which had been undefeated for over five years, and Horace Mann finally pulled that off — twice. All the East Coast teams seamed eager to face off against Mira Costa after they achieved top rank last year, and teams converged upon NAIMUN to make it by far the most competitive conference this year — several teams that had won Best Large at regional conferences couldn’t even place in the top 25 at NAIMUN. Overall, East Coast teams still have many more opportunities to participate at more competitive conferences, and that helped boost up the profile of schools that did not win delegation awards but had many individual award winners.

In the Midwest, teams have seen how Chicago Lab travels around the entire country — they notably went south this year to GTMUN — and gained national prominence that way. Private schools like St. Ignatius (and Culver Academies in the top 50) have followed suit and traveled to both coasts this year. But there was also a rising sentiment from many Midwestern public schools that this type of competitive mindset is not what Model UN is about. Model UN is more about the educational experience in the Midwest, and the majority of the teams here want to keep it that way. We noticed that they purposely selected conferences that emphasized an educational mission, and teams have mentioned that we should cover more of these conferences instead of just focusing on the bi-coastal competitions.

In the South, teams are still chasing Port Charlotte, which had another excellent year, but several teams have realized that perhaps the antidote was to start finding success outside of the state of Florida. We saw Gulf Coast win at CMUNCE and BruinMUN, Canterbury win at NAIMUN and BUSUN, and Cape Coral (in the top 50) win at BosMUN. All of these teams are relatively new to traveling out of state and have yet to reach their potential. Given their success already, one can only imagine the impact that the Southwest Florida Model UN hotbed (which we will feature in an upcoming article) will have on the national scene in future years as teams from that area gain more experience.

On the West Coast, the three heavyweights Mira Costa, Huntington Beach, and Cerritos continued to renew their annual, multi-conference rivalry, and the addition of RHSMUN from Salt Lake City to San Francisco added one more conference to the mix. The more interesting story was that a significant number of teams from outside of California attended BMUN this year. Some notable non-Californian teams mentioned it was not as competitive as they thought it would be, while others said they now understand how difficult it is competing with multiple class programs in the same room. At the same time, some non-top 25 California club programs saw how good the non-California teams are, while others said they weren’t that impressed and didn’t think they made the conference was more competitive than usual. The verdict is inconclusive, and that just means the West Coast versus East Coast rivalry will continue.

Although our rankings have encouraged only some teams to attend more conferences — it’s partially because we placed a temporary cap of four scores and partially due to external factors like administration restrictions and funding that schools didn’t attend more — we have seen a slight trend by several larger programs to split up their teams on back-to-back weekends (Huntington Beach at BruinMUN and WMHSMUN, Chicago Lab at PMUNC and CIMUN) or on the same weekend (Cerritos at NHSMUN and BMUN, New Canaan at CMUNC and DartMUN). These teams all won delegation awards at both conferences they attended, and that’s a testament to the depth of these teams.

Finally, Best Delegate and several Secretaries-General have noticed that it’s no longer just about rivals pairing up to compete against each other at conferences. Instead, the bigger trend is that now many of the powerhouse teams have essentially formed an informal cartel to decide which conference they will all go to. Sometimes, they picked a conference that welcomed the competition and had been trying hard to recruit the top teams to attend, and those conferences were able to foster an extremely challenging environment for the delegates that wanted to test their skills against the best. Other times, they picked a conference that had an educational focus or whose staff wasn’t prepared to deal with strong delegates, and that led to frustrating experiences all around but particularly so for long-time attendees of some of these conferences. Regardless, cartels look like they are here to stay, and that will have both positive and negative impacts to the circuit in the coming years.


The Top 25 (1-25):

1. Horace Mann School (New York)

There shouldn’t be any controversy this year: Horace Mann is the number one team in the nation after placing higher than 17 of our top 25 teams in head-to-head competition en route to an undefeated season. Horace Mann started the year by snapping rival Dalton’s roughly five-year unbeaten streak when it won Best Large Delegation at a stacked Princeton PMUNC. Horace Mann then followed-up with a pair of Best Large Delegation awards at two of the most competitive conferences of the year, U.Penn ILMUNC and Georgetown NAIMUN, with the latter being by far the most competitive conference of the year. It then rounded out its season with a Best Small Delegation at Cornell CMUNC. With a significantly upgraded training pipeline that takes advantage of its local New York area conferences such as Columbia CMUNCE, Seton Hall SHUMUN, Stuyvesant StuyMUNC, and their own novice conference, Horace Mann HoMMUNC, the question for next year isn’t if they’ll beat Dalton again. The question is if Horace Mann is poised to start another dynasty reminiscent of its early 2000’s dominance.

2. Mira Costa High School (California)

Mira Costa had a big target on their back this year but was able to prove that they are one of the best teams in the nation. It won Outstanding Large Delegation at Georgetown NAIMUN and the strength of that victory — along with the fact that they won more awards and weighted points than Best Large Delegation winner Horace Mann — helped them maintain their top 5 ranking. Mira Costa also added a Best Class Delegation at Berkeley BMUN (we converted to second place overall), a Best Large Delegation at McGill SSUNS, and an Award of Excellence at Regionals RHSMUN (equivalent to Outstanding Large Delegation). Both the second places came behind rival Huntington Beach, which seemed to have Mira Costa’s number this year although Mira Costa has the better national profile. In addition, Mira Costa also won Best Large Delegation at two high school-hosted conferences with 600+ delegates, Huntington Beach Surf City MUN (shared with Edison) and Edison EHSMUN (shared with Huntington Beach). The team will face their rivals again at UCSD TritonMUN. Mira Costa also hosted their LAIMUN conference and attended three other novice conferences this year: Santa Margarita SOCOMUN, Cerritos CHSMUN, Huntington Beach novice.

3. University of Chicago Laboratory School (Illinois)

Chicago Lab is also one of the best teams in the nation. It won Outstanding Large Delegation at Harvard HMUN and the strength of that victory — along with the fact that they also won more awards and weighted points than Best Large Delegation winner J.P. Stevens — helped them maintain their top 5 ranking. Chicago Lab impressively split its team in December and won Best Small Delegation at Princeton PMUNC and 2nd place country delegation at Chicago International CIMUN on back-to-back weekends. The team also was the 4th place country delegation at Georgia Tech GTMUN (converted to third overall team; note that this was a correction by GTMUN). These results added up to a high score, particularly since Chicago Lab faced at least three other top-25 teams at every conference it participated in this year. Chicago Lab will finish its season closer to home at Northwestern NUMUN.

4. Port Charlotte High School (Florida)

Port Charlotte dominated in the Fall, winning the George P. Burdell Cup for a first place delegation and fielded a second place delegation at the same time at Georgia Tech GTMUN (equivalent to dominating Best Large Delegation). It then took home the Coon Award for Diplomacy at William & Mary WMHSMUN (equivalent to Best Large Delegation). Port Charlotte once again showed that it is one of the best teams in the nation with a strong performance at Harvard HMUN with a fourth place overall finish in terms of weighted points — this was only one weighted point behind third place Oceanside and virtually a tie since Port Charlotte had more individual awards. The strength of that performance also helped keep them in the top 5. But if there was any doubt, Port Charlotte diffused it when it ran away with the Best Large Delegation at George Washington WAMUNC by a comfortable margin over Oceanside and other top 10 teams. Finally, it won the equivalent to Best Large Delegation at both Florida GatorMUN and Southwest Florida SWFLMUN, proving that it still is the team to beat in Florida and beyond.

5. West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South (New Jersey)

SouthMUN put in a solid top 5 performance at a competitive Princeton PMUNC to start the season. It was able to fielded a larger team closer to home at U.Penn ILMUNC and won Outstanding Large Delegation there. Afterward, the team traveled down to Georgetown NAIMUN where it took home the Best Small Delegation in a very competitive and close race — they ultimately tied with Dalton for third place overall and was one weighted point above Outstanding Small Delegation winner Canterbury. Finally, SouthMUN ended the season with a 2nd place overall at George Washington WAMUNC. Although SouthMUN tied once at NAIMUN and “lost” once at PMUNC to Dalton, they got the edge in aggregate scoring with slightly better overall results and a slightly better strength of schedule. SouthMUN is not just the highest-ranked team from the MUN hotbed state of New Jersey but also one of the best in North America.

6. The Dalton School (New York)

Although Dalton did not go undefeated this year, any talk about their potential demise would be greatly exaggerated because the team had an excellent year by any standard. After participating at the Horace Mann HoMMUNC novice conference, Dalton won Best Large Delegation at Rutgers RUMUN and finished a strong run in the Fall with an Outstanding Large Delegation at Princeton PMUNC. Dalton may not have gotten publicity from Georgetown NAIMUN since they didn’t win a delegation award, but they were actually third overall — tied with West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South and one weighted point above Canterbury — in one of the most competitive matchups in recent history, and that showed that Dalton is still top-notch. Finally, Dalton went out to the West Coast where they took home a Best Club Delegation at Berkeley BMUN (4th overall but first among club programs). All these results were good enough to keep Dalton near the top. High school students like to think of the top five programs as the “P5,” but when it comes to natural cut-off scores in our rankings, there were actually six elite teams that were a notch above the rest of the top 25 and Dalton belongs in that group.

7. West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North (New Jersey)

West Windsor-Plainsboro HS North was consistently good at its first two conferences, placing in the top 5 at both Princeton PMUNC and U.Penn ILMUNC, but had weighted scores that were a notch below the top teams. But perhaps the spark in the team this year was getting away from rival and de facto travel partner West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South for once in the schedule and carving their own path. Given the chance to shine on their own spotlight, WWP North defended their Best Large Delegation at Johns Hopkins JHUMUNC. That renewed confidence enabled them to also win Best Small Delegation at George Washington WAMUNC where they significantly narrowed the gap between themselves and WWP South. WWP North will return a solid group of delegates and should be in position to try to catch their WWP South rival and contend for top 5 status.

8. Huntington Beach High School (California)

Huntington Beach is difficult to beat when they are at full-strength. The team went undefeated against rivals Mira Costa and Cerritos at several conferences including Berkeley BMUN where they won one of three Best Class Delegations (we converted to first place overall) and Best Delegation at Regionals RHSMUN. It also impressively split its team in the Fall and won on back-to-back weekends, taking home the Bruin Award at UCLA BruinMUN (converted to Outstanding Large) and Best Large Delegation at William & Mary WMHSMUN (converted to Outstanding Large below the Coon Award). In addition to its four scores above, Huntington Beach further proved its dominance in California by winning Best Large Delegation at two high school-hosted conferences with 600+ delegates, Edison EHSMUN (shared with Mira Costa) and Mission Viejo MVHSMUN. The team has one more conference to go, UCSD TritonMUN. Huntington Beach also hosted two conferences this year, Surf City MUN and its Huntington Beach novice conference.

9. Cerritos High School (California)

Cerritos was on an upward trajectory the entire season and peaked at the right time in impressive fashion. The team finished 3rd to rivals Mira Costa and Huntington Beach at Regionals RHSMUN but didn’t rank in the Fall. It then showed some improvement with an Outstanding Large Delegation at Duke DUMUNC. But Cerritos showed its true power in March when it won the Award of Distinction at Nationals NHSMUN (equivalent to Best Large Delegation since they were the only large delegation to receive that and the Research Award) and a Best Class Delegation at Berkeley BMUN (we converted to third place overall) on the same weekend with a split team. The upside? The juniors were all at NHSMUN, meaning Cerritos should be fielding an even stronger team next year. Cerritos also received awards at Edison EHSMUN, UCSB GauchoMUN, and Huntington Beach Surf City MUN. It will finish off its season by splitting its team once more to attend UC Irvine UCIMUN and UC Davis’ DavisMUN on back-to-back weekends. Cerritos also hosted its CHSMUN novice conference at the beginning of the year.

10. J.P. Stevens High School (New Jersey)

Undefeated J.P. Stevens would place as high as #2 in the nation if this was a power ranking based on a team’s performance at only the most competitive conference they participated in. J.P. Stevens started off with a dominating performance at Virginia VAMUN. It then achieved its greatest success in club history by winning Best Large Delegation at Harvard HMUN. Finally, it ended its season by winning Best Large Delegation at Cornell CMUNC. For a team that could only attend three conferences (our ranking uses four scores) because their funding was about to get cut at the beginning of the school year, being able to place into the top 10 is already a very impressive feat and a proud comeback for this public school. Better yet, it seems like most of their peers recognize them as an elite team now. J.P. Stevens is graduating a strong group of seniors but will return a solid group of juniors plus upcoming talent developed from its JPSMUN novice conference, and the team will look to upgrade its conference schedule next year.

11. Oceanside High School (New York)

Oceanside seems to favor going up against the best, and despite not winning a delegation award this year, they continue to be recognized as one of the best teams in the nation. That’s because they have contended for a delegation award every time at some of the most competitive conferences on the circuit. Oceanside placed 3rd at Princeton PMUNC, 3rd at Harvard HMUN, and 4th at George Washington WAMUNC. Their achievements relative to their strength of schedule enabled them to almost break into the top 10 despite having only three scores whereas everyone else except for J.P. Stevens has four (or more). Oceanside did add a third conference to its schedule this year — will it continue to add more as it seeks to go up against the best?

12. Canterbury School – Fort Myers (Florida)

Canterbury fielded perhaps one of the best-ever small delegations. In terms of competitiveness, Canterbury is as good as any top-10 team as it kept right up with the established powerhouses at Georgetown NAIMUN, ultimately finishing fifth overall with only one weighted point behind Dalton and West Windsor-Plainsboro HS South — those teams practically tied in the grand scheme of the rankings scoring. Canterbury had the most gavels of any team at NAIMUN though and took home the Outstanding Small Delegation. The team also received what we equated to as best small delegation at Brown BUSUN and won at its in-state University of Central Florida KnightMUN and Old City OCMUNC conferences. A newcomer to the Northeast conferences who has surprised itself with wins at Harvard and Georgetown in the past two years, Canterbury will be a team to watch as it gains more experience outside of Florida.

13. St. Ignatius College Prep (Illinois)

Life for St. Ignatius has gotten significantly tougher as the team embarked on an upgraded national schedule this year. At full-strength, St. Ignatius showed that it is one of the best teams in the Midwest after winning 1st Place Delegation at Chicago International CIMUN. The team was successful outside the Midwest, too. It took home the Outstanding Large Delegation at Columbia CMUNCE, finished in the top 10 at Georgetown NAIMUN, and won Best Club Delegation at Berkeley BMUN (it was a top 10 finish). The unique experience gained from participating against some of the best teams from around the country this year should yield dividends in future years as St. Ignatius looks to cement itself as a powerhouse.

14. East Brunswick High School (New Jersey)

East Brunswick started off its season with an Outstanding Large Delegation at Rutgers RUMUN. Several teams attended both extremes of a very competitive conference and an education-oriented conference but none was able to be as successful as East Brunswick. In their case, East Brunswick put in a top 10 performance at Georgetown NAIMUN, their competitive conference, and received an Award of Excellence (converted to a top 5 finish) at Nationals NHSMUN, their educational conference. The team also did well at Johns Hopkins JHUMUNC. East Brunswick hails from the more educational side of Model UN having been a traditional participant of NHSMUN and seemed to go through some growing pains at NAIMUN this year, but it still did well and is in good shape to adapt to both types of conference philosophies in the future.

15. Centennial High School (Georgia)

Centennial continues to be one of the best teams in the South. Centennial has traditionally stayed in-state and makes one trip at year to Nationals NHSMUN, and they have made the most of their opportunities. Centennial received the 3rd place country delegation at Georgia Tech GTMUN (converted to 2nd place overall team; note this was a correction from GTMUN), an Award of Distinction at Southern United States SUSMUN (equivalent to Best Large Delegation), and a Best Delegation at Georgia UGAMUNC. Finally, it received an Award of Distinction at Nationals NHSMUN (we converted to the equivalent of a shared Outstanding Large Delegation with Highland Park). Centennial’s results this year are actually slightly better than its results from last year with a similar schedule, but the drop in rank isn’t absolute — it’s more of a sign that teams have just toughened its out-of-state scheduling relative to last year. But when it comes to the actual quality of the team, Centennial demonstrated at NHSMUN that it hasn’t missed a beat.

16. Highland Park High School (Illinois)

Highland Park repeated similar results with a similar schedule as last year to maintain their top 25 ranking. The highlight of the Fall was a third place overall finish at Chicago International CIMUN behind only the two Chicago private schools, and the highlight of the Spring was earning the Award of Distinction at Nationals NHSMUN (we converted to the equivalent of a shared Outstanding Large Delegation with Centennial). Highland Park and Deerfield almost have similar profiles, but Highland Park ranked higher on the strength of the higher-weighted NHSMUN victory. Highland Park is the highest ranked team with only two scores.

17. Deerfield High School (Illinois)

Deerfield enters into the top 25 as the highest-ranked newcomer after two very strong performances. The first accomplishment was closer to home when Deerfield placed second overall at U.Chicago MUNUC (we converted it to an Outstanding Large Delegation). It then went to the East Coast and received an Award of Excellence (we converted to a top-five finish) at Nationals NHSMUN. That award combined with Highland Park’s and Chicagoland Jewish’s delegation awards definitely put Chicago — or more specifically, the mini-MUN hub of next door cities Deerfield and Highland Park — on the map at NHSMUN. It’ll be interesting to see how Deerfield manages this success in future years.

18. Princeton High School (New Jersey)

Princeton is a rising team in an already crowded New Jersey field, but it looks like they are here to stay after taking home several delegation awards this year. The team’s highlights include an Outstanding Large Delegation award at Virginia VAMUN, a Best Small Delegation at Columbia CMUNCE, and a top 10 finish at Georgetown NAIMUN. There is still a gap in weighted points between Princeton and the best teams at the conferences that it attended, but given their success with a solid schedule Princeton should be in good shape to keep contending for delegation awards next year.

19. Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology (Virginia)

Thomas Jefferson is a good team that doesn’t get enough press relative to its successes because it splits it schedule between local and national conferences. On the national level, the team won an Outstanding Large Delegation at William & Mary WMHSMUN (converted to third overall) and contended for a large delegation award at U.Penn ILMUNC, ultimately finishing third overall again. That put the team in pretty good company. In between those two conferences, Thomas Jefferson has been successful at CD Hylton PWMUN and Chantilly CHMUN. Thomas Jefferson also contributes to the development of the local circuit by hosting its TECHMUN conference.

20. Gulf Coast High School (Florida)

If a new club wants a blueprint for transitioning from local to national success, look no further than Gulf Coast. The team is only in its second year traveling outside of Florida and smartly picked conferences that were competitive yet manageable — none of them were over 1,000 delegates — for its rapidly improving team. Gulf Coast ended up winning two delegation awards: Best Large Delegation at Columbia CMUNCE and Best Small Delegation at UCLA BruinMUN. It also placed second overall at Florida GatorMUN, third overall at Southwest Florida SWFLMUN, and fourth overall at Georgia Tech GTMUN (the latter two were converted since those conferences use country delegations). It’s relative success traveling outside the Southeast compared with its results competing against teams at full-strength in the South shows that the team is top-heavy at the moment. It’ll be interesting to see how they appropriately upgrade their schedule next year and develop more depth in their team.

21. Franklin High School (New Jersey)

Franklin maintained its top 25 status with solid performances at all the conferences it attended. It students fielded an unofficial team to Rutgers RUMUN to start off the season. The team then recorded two top-10 finishes by placing 6th overall at U.Penn ILMUNC and receiving an Award of Merit at Nationals NHSMUN (plus a Research Award) before ending its season with a top-five result at George Washington WAMUNC. Although a few teams may have finished higher than Franklin at an individual conference, Franklin had been consistently better throughout the season. The team also attended the IDIA-hosted Philadelphia PhilMUN conference and launched its own FHSMUN novice conference.

22. Langley High School (Virginia)

Langley enters into the top 25 after barely missing it last year. Langley had a similar schedule as rival Thomas Jefferson, and the team held its own by placing in the top 5 at both U.Penn ILMUNC and William & Mary WMHSMUN. These results were good enough to bump them up into the top 25. Similar to Richland Northeast which also had two scores, it remains to be seen if Langley will attend more conferences, even local high school-hosted ones like rival Thomas Jefferson does, to keep up with aggregate scoring in future years.

23. Richland Northeast High School (South Carolina)

Richland Northeast is one of the best small teams in the nation. It only participates at the two IMUNA-hosted conferences but it does a great job at both. Richland Northeast received the Award of Excellence at Southern United States SUSMUN (equivalent to 2nd place) and then earned the Award of Distinction at Nationals NHSMUN (we converted to Best Small Delegation since they were the only small team to win that and a Research Award). Richland Northeast has the fewest in-state opportunities available of any top 25 team, although it remains to be seen if they will attend non-IMUNA conferences out-of-state to keep up with aggregate scoring in future years. Nevertheless, like Centennial, the team is very good when it comes to quality.

24. Stuyvesant High School (New York)

Stuyvesant enters into the top 25 after consistently fielding teams with many individual award winners this year. The team was successful at Brown BUSUN and notably made two trips to Washington DC this year where they placed in the top 10 at both Georgetown NAIMUN and George Washington WAMUNC. Stuyvesant, which has increased its training efforts, also attended the Horace Mann HoMMUNC novice conference and puts on its own conference, StuyMUNC.

25. New Canaan High School (Connecticut)

New Canann enters into the top 25 after a late-season push that resulted in two delegation awards. The team started off successfully at Brown BUSUN and Princeton PMUNC and then excelled at U.Penn ILMUNC with a top 10 finish. It then split up its team on the last weekend of March and brought home a pair of Outstanding Large Delegation awards at Cornell CMUNC and Dartmouth DartMUN. New Canaan will have a strong group of returners next year, which bodes well for them to maintain their status in the top 25, but they may also have bigger goals next year — the team is contemplating about traveling abroad.


Finally, it’s arbitrary and conventional that a list uses a top 25 format, and we want to note that five of the teams we ranked in the top 26-50 actually had scores that were closer to the top 25 than the rest of the top 50. We wanted to at least mention them with their peers so we’re providing them with some name recognition here (in alphabetical order): Bergen County Academies, Cape Coral High School, Colegio Puertoriqueño de Niñas, Elmont Memorial High School, and Liberty Public Schools.

Results are through April 1, 2012. Final rankings will be released in June after all conferences have taken place. Congratulations to all the teams so far!

Also, check out the rest of the rankings: top 26-50top 51-100top 101-150, and best international delegations!

  • Grayson Lanza

    Teams Gulf Coast beat head to head at CMUNCE: Princeton High School, St. Ignatius, and Horace Mann. Horace Mann is understandable, but there doesn’t seem to be much reason for either Princeton or St. Ignatius to be placed higher. Could anyone from Best Delegate clarify why this is?

    • Zander Daniel

      Hello Grayson,

      I am one of the Horace Mann SG’s and just wanted to clarify something about CMUNCE. This year we recognized two major issues in our club’s approach to attending conferences: a perceived exclusive culture because are unable to invite all interested students and phenomenal local conferences we weren’t taking advantage of. With that in mind, we made the decision to attend CMUNCE to provide more students the opportunity to participate in this extraordinary educational activity. Since ILMUNC was less than two weeks after CMUNCE, our CMUNCE delegation was comprised of those we couldn’t invite to ILMUNC (75% of whom were 8th or 9th graders) with only two exceptions (two seniors attending Columbia next year).

      We never had any intention of winning a delegation award at CMUNCE; our sole objective was to provide a learning environment where our students could grow as delegates and people. Many of them may not continue participating in Model UN, but they will take with them confidence to speak in class and a greater awareness of international relations. We view CMUNCE as a success for us on those terms.

      To that end, we think intimating that Gulf Coast “beat” Horace Mann is misleading because we never had any intention of competing against you. That being said, and we mean this sincerely, we truly were impressed by Gulf Coast’s performance. We firmly believe that Gulf Coast is one of the elite programs in the country and from our observations of Gulf Coast and some of the teams placed higher, we feel a serious case can be made for Gulf Coast being ranked higher.

      We also feel that the best way to mature and grow as a delegate is competing against the best. Our students attending CMUNCE are grateful for all that Gulf Coast delegates imparted on how to be successful in MUN.

      • Grayson Lanza

        Zander, I had hoped my implied knowledge of this was noticed, but I guess I wasn’t clear enough. That was why I said I could understand Horace Mann, and truly I had no issue with your placing. I’m not here to start complaining about minute details such as that, but for clarification on why teams that WERE actually fully competing are ranked ahead of this. I appreciate your consideration in replying towards me, and it should be known GC holds no ill will toward any school, considering the fact they do not control the rankings.

      • Anonymous

        This might be the most ignorant thing i’ve ever seen. Are you seriously saying that you attended a conference and DIDN’T want to do well? I know for a fact that many schools have training conferences for only new delegates. It was my impression that GC sent only a few upperclassmen to BruinMUN, and they still won. That’s a terrible excuse. You can’t pick or choose which conferences count for you and which don’t just because it’s inconvenient to you.

        • Ashley Inman

          Actually, GC had only two seniors that attended BruinMUN 🙂 the rest of the team were solely sophomores and one junior.

          Also, on behalf of the entire Gulf Coast team, we would like to congratulate everyone for both their placement in these rankings as well as performance on the MUN circuit as a whole. We are very proud to be ranked at all, especially as such a young team.

        • Zander Daniel

          There are some teams in the country that have a very narrow view on success. They relish the chance to post on their website head-to-head wins against other schools. Horace Mann is not one of those schools; we are not alone in that regard.

          Based on your logic, as a club we should have denied younger students the opportunity to participate in Model UN in order to protect our “status” as undefeated. We should have told younger students hungry for a chance to have an opportunity to participate in a wonderfully educational experience because, the club was afraid to associate itself with a losing group. We should have eschewed an educational opportunity out of fear of losing. Unfortunately, your attitude runs contrary to the spirit of Model UN. This was a training conference for new delegates, where our expectations were to provide a positive learning experience for our delegates. It is unfair to realistically expect a bunch of 8th and 9th graders, with no exposure to Model UN, to waltz into committee and perform better than a seasoned team of upperclassmen from a prominent Model UN team.

          Ultimately your sentiment sheds light on really the only dangerous thing about these rankings. I fear that with these rankings, programs will box themselves into a win-now mentality, that sacrifices introducing Model UN into the lives of others, in order to ensure an undefeated season.

          Lastly, to be frank, we are not afraid to lose. Losing and making mistakes is how one improves and grows.

          • Anonymous

            That’s actually not what I said. My school sends newer delegates to training conferences every year, and we usually loose. Even though we loose, we still send our better delegates to big conferences every year and we preform very well. Based on your logic, because you only sent newer delegates to a conference, it shouldnt be held against you. I disagree. Because your starting offense is out for a game, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t count. These younger delegates are still apart of your team. Gulf Coast went to BruinMUN and won, and you Horace Mann didn’t. End of story.

          • Anonymous

            Your losses could be because you can’t spell ‘lose.’

          • Anonymous

            But the point your missing is Best Delegate doesn’t want to penalize teams for training younger delegates at regional conferences by not sending their full team. That is why they only count the four best scores a team has, and also why they dont count head to head match-ups, but rather the competitiveness of an entire conference.

          • Daniel Brovman

            MunyFunyBuny. First off, a man that hides behind a pseudonym is above all a coward. If Model UN has taught you anything, it should have been to stand by what you believe in and if that means affixing your real name to such statements you should.

            Moving onto your analogy: We’re not saying that because our “starting offense” was out for a game, the game shouldn’t have counted – we simply went to enough conferences that when our “starting offense” wasn’t present at CMUNCE and we lost, it did not matter. Horace Mann attended HoMMUNC (our own conference that does not give out delegation awards), PMUNC (which we used as a training conference and still won Best Large Delegation), CMUNCE (where we brought only novices, and yes lost), ILMUNC (Best Large Delegation), NAIMUN (Best Large Delegation), CMUNC (Best Small Delegation), SHUMUN (where even our novices were able to win Best Large Delegation), and StuyMUNC (which does not give out delegation awards). Since Best Delegate only counts our top 4 performances, our one loss at CMUNCE didn’t count, and even if it did, we wouldn’t have minded.

            It has always been the responsibility of HM MUN not only to ensure a successful future of our club by training our younger delegates, but also to ensure that the true spirit of Model UN is embodied within every member – the true passion of International Affairs, a zest for learning, and the eagerness to make the world a better place.

            So to clarify MunyFunyBuny – We’re not saying it shouldn’t be held against us, we were just in a situation where it wouldn’t be held against us. As KFC has previously suggested, you should go ahead and read the methodology for these ranking systems.

        • Katie Margules

          I think Zander is saying the conference was an opportunity to train HM’s younger delegates, and because they did not bring their strongest team, there focus was not so much on winning as it was on having an enriching learning experience for their young prospects.
          He never says that HM did not want to do well; you put words in his mouth. Moreover, Zander does not choose which conferences count and which don’t; the Best Delegate people do. Yes, many schools do have training conferences. Horace Mann uses CMUNCE as a training conference, so there you go. Not sure what point you were trying to make, but it any case it seems totally not thought out.
          Congratulations to GC for their apparently bright future. They must’ve brought very talented underclassmen to BruinMUN. Based on Zander’s comment, it seems like the HM delegates at CMUNCE were not just underclassmen, but they were in fact totally new to MUN for the most part. Being totally new to MUN is not the same thing as just being young.
          Also, I think you might want to read the definition of the word ignorant

    • Kevin Felix Chan

      Hi Grayson Lanza,

      Our rankings methodology uses aggregate score of four conferences and not head-to-head matchups. Teams win and lose against each other all the time, especially since they don’t always bring the same delegates, so we look at consistency across conferences. St. Ignatius and Princeton placed below Gulf Coast at CMUNCE, but they also placed higher than many other teams at several other more competitive conferences.

      Methodology is here:

      • Kevin Felix Chan

        Hi Grayson,

        I see you replied back on Twitter but I’m still not sure what part of the methodology you are unclear about.

        If this was about head-to-head matchups, then Cape Coral would rank higher than Gulf Coast after SWFLMUN. But it’s about overall season and Gulf Coast had better results with four scores. Similarly, St. Ignatius and Princeton had what our methodology determined to be better results with four scores. Again, our methodology is cumulative and each score is weighted by the competitiveness of a conference (a delegation award at one conference is not equal to a delegation award or even 3rd, 4th, etc place at another conference).

        Perhaps you may think that the weighting for your conferences are too low or that the weighting for St. Ignatius’ or Princeton’s conferences are too high, but that is subjective relative to one’s experience. In our attempt to calibrate weightings nationally, we used data points to derive our weighting for each conference as explained in the methodology.

        Also keep in mind that with cumulative scoring, beating a team only marginally places you above them for the time being. If a team performed well at another conference, they can leapfrog the team that beat them. This is meant to capture results for the entire season instead of the narrow lenses of one conference.

    • Sasha Chhabra

      Um- I’d just like to note that Princeton High School won Best Small Delegation at CMUNCE… as it has for the past four years

  • Shahrukh Khan

    These rankings were really helpful and as a delegate from New York I enjoy seeing Horace Mann at the top of the rankings. They were very effective in their debate and managed to work as a team. However, I feel as if J.P. Stevens High School deserves more than a tenth place finish. After reading your article, they won three Best Large Delegation and one at the Harvard Model United Nations, probably the 2nd most competitive conference in the East but are ranked lower than teams they beat at that conference. Looking at your fall rankings, I see they were placed eight however after winning two more Best Large Delegations they have still dropped two places.

    • Kevin Felix Chan

      Hi Shahrukh Khan,

      Because our rankings uses aggregate score and not just head-to-head matchup at the most competitive conference a school attended, it is all relative to the number of conferences that a team has attended. That’s why we mentioned that teams shouldn’t compare their Fall ranking — which many readers pointed out was just an arbitrary cut-off — with this ranking. The better comparison is to compare last year’s spring ranking with this one. In the future, we may discontinue fall rankings since there is huge disparity in opportunities to attend a conference early in the season — some have attended 4 conferences already while others have yet to attend one.

      That said, I understand that JP Stevens had two excellent results in the spring, and all I can say is that other teams had two or three other excellent results too.

      • Shahrukh Khan

        I don’t understand why the same ratio can’t be used when determining the Delegation awards but this time on a weighted system. For example, the most competitive conferences would be weighted 1.5x, semi-competitive 1.25x, and trainer conferences at 1.0. Best Large Delegation would be 5 points while Outstanding Large and Best Small would be 3 points, and Outstanding Small would be 1 point. If a team won three best large delegations at each of the three difficulties, their score would be a total 18.75 which would then be divided by 3 to give them a final score of 6.25. By dividing the total score by the number of conferences they attend, where n > 1 to give more realistic rankings. If you want to hire me as an Intern for Best Delegate I would be more than glad to help you out and provide more realistic rankings for the public. I still respect you and this website I am just disappointed that a school’s poverty is coming into the playing arena.

        • Colin Mark

          Hey Shahrukh,

          The problem with the ratio method is that, like so many other suggestions on this page, it makes the concept of a training conference or a conference open to anyone who wants to try Model UN obsolete; no team that tried to share Model UN with the larger school community would be able to maintain a competitive edge, and Model UN teams we would become more exclusive and less open to the public in the interests of preserving their ratios. They would also opt to attend exclusively competitive conferences.

          As for the issue of JP Stevens, there is no disputing that JPSMUN’s victory at HMUN was an incredible accomplishment. However, the other two conferences JP Stevens attended were both small regional conferences – VAMUN and CMUNC, neither of which was heavily weighted. I think JP Stevens would have had a very legitimate claim to a higher ranking if JP Stevens MUN had attended more competitive conferences and performed as well as it did at VAMUN, HMUN and CMUNC (say, attending and winning tier 3 WAMUNC instead of tier 5 CMUNC). I am very much in favor of training conferences, so I understand why JP Stevens would opt to not attend too many competitive conferences, but it is mathematically possible for JPSMUN to obtain a much higher score without attending a fourth conference.

          Personally, I believe that schools that have the capacity to share MUN with as many students as possible and still perform at competitive national conferences should expend the resources to do so, but schools that are precluded from doing so for socioeconomic reasons are still given the tools to be competitive under the present model. Of course, schools that can’t attend at least three conferences are probably severely disadvantaged when it comes to breaking into the top 5 or 6. Still, if a school attends two conferences, but those conferences are HMUN and NAIMUN, who knows?

          Still, I want to echo Best Delegate’s observation that being ranked anywhere on this list – anywhere in the top 150 – is a huge honor and huge testament to the work the students on these teams are doing, work that will do more for these students in the longrun than any ranking on this website.

          • Kevin Felix Chan

            Colin Mark hit the nail on the head in terms of why we don’t use ratios. We’re not out to penalize a team for bringing in more students to a conference. Conferences are free to base its delegation awards on a delegate-to-awards ratio, but when it comes to rewarding a team from top to bottom in our rankings, we believe it should be based on absolute score earned from a conference.

        • Kevin Felix Chan

          Hi Shahrukh Khan,

          Read my response to RamPatel regarding fairness adjustments for socioeconomic disparity. I’m open to suggestions.

          Read Colin Mark’s response regarding how ratios hurt teams from wanting to bring more students to a conference. I agree with his arguments here. By also dividing total score by number of conferences attended, you then discourage teams from attending smaller conferences or more conferences because their average could get dragged down, and we don’t think that leads to growth in the Model UN circuit. Using a summation formula (which our methodology currently uses), teams can only be rewarded for adding an extra conference and winning at it.

          In terms of delegation award weighting, let me shed some light here. At almost all the conferences, the weighted scores between the top two teams are pretty close. Therefore, the best large delegation award winner would earn a disproportionate amount of points even though they may have barely beaten the next best team. I don’t think that’s fair. Also, the delegation award winners are rarely 1-2-3-4 in terms of weighted score. There are almost always some teams that place between the large and small delegation award winners. Therefore, it’s much more accurate to look at each conference’s awards on a case-by-case basis than to apply a broad weighting formula.

  • Anonymous

    Best Delegate, I just have one question for you: If JPSMUN continues to only attend three conferences a year, will they never be able to make it to the top 5? The Board of Education in Edison, NJ, the town JPSMUN is from, only permits the team to attend three conferences a year. Are your rankings saying that if JPSMUN continues to be undefeated, continues to defeat teams that are currently ranked higher than it, and continues to attend only three very competitive conferences, it will not be able to break through a ranking of 10? As a JPSMUN alumni, I have respected and still do respect this website, but seeing that a team isn’t justly rewarded for it’s efforts because of it’s socioeconomic status is a complete disappointment.

    • Anonymous

      I agree that there is an argument to be made for only counting the top 3 conferences of the year. It is logistically and financially difficult for all schools to attend 4 competitive conferences each year, not only state funded institutions.

      Additionally, counting 4 conferences necessitates that teams wishing to rank highly bring their best teams to these 4 conferences – discouraging teams from going to a less competitive conference and bringing larger teams for the sake of training and MUN as a learning experience.

      • Kevin Felix Chan

        Hi BanKiSun,

        Read my response to RamPatel regarding capping at three vs. four. I’m open to suggestions.

        In my opinion, teams that have to send their best delegates to all four conferences are relying on their top talent and not doing enough to train the underclassmen. They don’t have enough depth so their top delegates will feel overstretched attending too many conferences.

        The teams that have trained their underclassmen aren’t afraid to send a team with no or few seniors to a large conference. Most of the teams that split their team up on back-to-back weekends or on the same weekend (Chicago Lab, Huntington Beach, Cerritos) are a testament to this.

        Ultimately, I think we’d rather measure the entire team from top to bottom than just measure the top delegates on a team. To us, that does a better job at representing how strong a team is.

    • Kevin Felix Chan

      Hi RamPatel,

      Thank you for asking one of the best questions we’ve received from all the rankings articles.

      Socioeconomic disparity exists and there isn’t anything I can do about it but to make it as fair as possible. Last year’s rankings did not use a cap and schools lobbied for one because they couldn’t attend as many conferences as some of the top teams. We already made a compromise to cap the scores at four as we saw that was around the average number of conferences that teams attend per year.

      The bigger question is: do we play to the lowest common denominator in order to provide a fairness band-aid to socioeconomic disparity? Or should we be taking high standards that some programs have set and encourage other teams to reach those standards in the name of growing or improving the MUN circuit?

      We could play down to the lowest common denominator, but I doubt there will ever be a situation where a team doesn’t feel like they are socioeconomically disadvantaged. If we capped it at two conferences, those who could only afford to attend one conference would say it’s unjust. If we capped it at one conference, those who couldn’t afford to travel to a large conference would also say that it’s unjust. I can’t think of a way where it would be fair for everyone. At the very least, the lower down we go, the more unfair it becomes for teams that go to more conferences too, because we then just completely disregard their hard-earned achievements at other conferences by dropping their scores.

      My other fear is that by playing to the lowest common denominator, we may actually worsen the circuit. I’ve already heard of a case where an administrator is thinking about limiting a school to only four conferences (they travel to more at the moment) because they heard our rankings only take into account four conferences. If we limited it to three and administrators see that’s good enough, it’s possible that it may give administrators to limit teams even more.

      Our mission is to improve and expand Model UN. As we explained in the methodology, that gives us a bias toward encouraging actions that create real change: getting students and parents to lobbying administrators to allow teams to travel more, attending two-day conferences to avoid missing school, hosting their own conference (and building up the local circuit) to eventually finance their travels, etc. These are solutions rather than band-aids.

      Again, we have a bias toward growth and improvement, and we want to make it as fair as possible. I’m open to suggestions.


      Finally, to directly answer your question:

      It’s hard to determine if JP Stevens can rank in the top 10 every year with only 3 conferences. Rankings are relative to what everyone else achieves.

      • Shahrukh Khan

        and J.P. Stevens has achieved two Best Large Delegations, which has only been matched by the Horace Mann School.

        • Anonymous

          guys u gotta get your facts straight when arguing your point. Shahrukh, you claim that only JPS and Horace Mann were the only two schools to win Two Best Large Delegation awards is technically correct but isn’t a alid arguement in context, because both Port Charlotte and Centennial each won Three Best Large Delegation awards. PC’s were significantly better since they won Best Large at Georgia Tech (large competitive) William & Mary (large competitive) and WAMUNC (George Washington (large competitive) all of which KFC said they dominated and he said they won a fourth Best Large at “competitive SWFLMUN”.

          Centennial won BL at NHSMUN (very large competitive) and at SUSMUN and UGAMUN (arguably small and not so competitive, but they won Best Larges. So insinuating that only H Mann and JPS won two Best Larges seems to conveniently look past this fact. This was easy to see cause KFC talked about their awads in his team descriptions, and these are two fromjust the top fifteen that I remembered and checked on after reading your claim. Just want to make sure the facts are put out there.

          • Anonymous

            If i am not mistaken , i think that horace mann won 4 best delegation awards according to their paragraph above?

          • David Shapiro

            BanKiSun is right. I’m a sophomore on the HM Team and we won Best Large at PMUNC, ILMUNC, and NAIMUN, while also winning Best Small with about half the team at CMUNC. But I also believe that JPS won three Best Larges, those being VAMUN, HMUN, and CMUNC, so saying that they only won two is misleading. Perhaps you were not counting CMUNC because it was a regional conference, but it still counts as a Best Large, and having competed against JP delegates I can say that HM as a good amount of respect for their organization.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you honorable chair.

    I would like to begin by echoing the sentiments put forth by one of the previous delegates. It was simply not within the realm of possibility for John P. Stevens to attend over three conferences in the 2011-2012 time frame. The delegation of myself would also find it complacent with my overall interests to propose a question directed towards this so called “ranking algorithm”. How was this algorithm devised and what is the main justification serving as a fortification to the consequential results. It should come as no shock that many fellow delegates will have a burning, and unyielding desire to transverse into the realm of understanding. Understanding as to how a delegation can in fact drop in their ranking after pouring blood, sweat and tears as a means of procuring an additional two (not one) best large delegation rewards. I read in a previous article a harrowing tale of a faux-hawked delegation (I myself sport a faux hawk, I find it rather trendy) delving into what is arguably one of the most prestigious MUN conferences and emerging victorious, gavels held high. Does this victory not split the Red Sea on the path towards an increased ranking, as opposed to a decreased one? With this, I would like to cease my point of inquiry, but would like to add an additional one. When is the next delegate dance??? And with that, I would like to yield the rest of my time to the Lyceum School of Pakistan.

    • Anonymous

      Why has no one responded to this? This is such a good question

  • Anonymous

    As a reply to the ideas put forth by Me, Myself and I, I have an inquiry for Best Delegate which will warrant a response. Allow me to a pain a vivid tapestry. A tapestry that consists of a simulated scenario. Let us say that a new MUN team were to emerge from Michael Smith Johnson School of Hawaii (not a real school) as well as 3 additional new teams. Now somewhere sown into the threads of this vivid tapestry, these 10 new MUN teams will attend 10 conferences each, yet come out empty handed. Will the sole reason that they attended 10 conferences propel them into the top 10 positions? And with that, the vivid tapestry has vanished into the reals of questioning.

    • Anonymous

      Perfect. It seems that you focus too much on attendance than actual skill. No doubt about it Horace Mann should of won. They had the strongest schedule because they went to PMUNC and NAIMUN. But what about Gulf Coast? 20th? those kids worked so incredibly hard to go bigger conferences far away from Florida and beat teams like HORACE MANN.

      • Anonymous

        well someone isnt a big HM fan. sensing some animosity?

    • Kevin Felix Chan

      No because results are capped at 4 scores for this year, and no because they wouldn’t have recorded a score at any conference if they didn’t win any awards. Read the methodology:

  • Anonymous

    Gulf Coast won Best large at 2 conferences, and Oceanside and Chicago Lab won zero. How is it that Gulf Coast was ranked behind a team who hadn’t won an award all year and a team who only has 2nds?

    Also, It was my understanding that Port Charlotte beat Oceanside at HMUN. They had more awards, as you stated, so how is it that PC got a “fourth”?

    Mira Costa may have won firsts, but the only legitimate conference they went to was SSUNS. While they won a first, NO MAJOR school competed there.

    I was also in Committee with a Chicago Lab delegate at HMUN, and they were caught cheating. Not just in one committee, but three.

    If you could answer these questions, that’d be great. thanks.

    • Katie Margules

      First of all, UC Lab may have “only” won 2nd place, but they also were able to achieve this at at least 1 substantially more competitive conference (namely HMUN) than those GC attended. Moreover, there other delegation awards were also very respectable (including a few best small delegation awards, which means they performed as well as their delegation size allowed them to). GC simply hasn’t performed as well against as high a level of competition. This is why the rankings have UC Lab ahead of GC.

      Second, Oceanside beat Port Charlotte at HMUN either because they had a greater total of awards after weighting (where Best counts for more than Outstanding and so on), or because they had a greater ratio of award’s success to number of delegations; in other words, they were more productive per each delegate they brought than GC was.

      Third, Mira Costa went to NAIMUN and placed second (a very closed second to Horace Mann). As this article notes, NAIMUN was far and away the most competitive conference in the country this year, and Mira Costa was a force throughout the weekend (I was there). At NAIMUN, they out performed a number of the top teams in the country, including several in this top 25.

      Finally, UC Lab has been caught cheating a number of times, at a number of different conferences throughout the years. I agree totally with you sentiment: they should be penalized for their unfair tactics that take the spirit out of MUN.

      You could have answered all of these questions–except the last one–if you actually had read this article and the methodology article, or even if you just read this article and KFC’s comments. If you could actually read what you are criticizing before you lash out at nice people who are just trying to help promote MUN (which is an amazing thing), that’d be great. Thanks.

      • Kevin Felix Chan

        Big thanks to Katie for helping me with this response.

        Conferences are weighted and delegation awards are not equal to each other (or to even a 3rd place, 4th place, etc. finish depending on how competitive that conference was).

        In regards to cheating accusations, cheating is relative to the rules that are set forth by a conference. If a conference sets a rule, then it should enforce it. If it is not being properly enforced, then that should be brought up with the conference during the faculty advisor’s meeting (or head delegate meeting at the college level) or in private with that conference’s Secretariat. I don’t set the rules and I don’t determine who wins. I just aggregate awards data.

      • Anonymous

        Thank you for your sarcastic response. Mira Costa may have preformed well at NAIMUN, but it still wasn’t a first. One legit conference shouldn’t put you at 2nd overall

    • Anonymous

      Oceanside’s placement is very simple. First off, delegates from Oceanside are some of classiest, most decent delegates in the country. The enter committee with a deep-seated desire to improve as delegates while adhering to high moral standards– something that can’t be said about all schools. Unlike some other schools, Oceanside does not devise their conference schedule to rack up as many delegation awards as possible; instead, they attended some of the most competitive conferences to learn and compete against the best. At PMUNC, for example, they won the 3rd most awards in total, more than WWP South, WPP North, Princeton High School, and many other fantastic schools. Were they to have attended weaker conferences they would have fared much better.

      Your understanding of awards at HMUN is wrong because Oceanside won more Outstandings, while PC won more Honorables. Since awards are weighted Oceanside was able to have a higher weighted score.

      • Anonymous

        According to Facebook, I have pictures of Oceanside delegates being the opposite of classy.

  • Anonymous


  • Chrissy Barnett

    I’m curious as to why Gulf Coast is considered top heavy? I could be wrong but I believe we had more sophomores gavel than seniors.

    • Kevin Felix Chan

      Hi Chrissy,

      I use the term top-heavy when I see a team that does better when they send mostly their best delegates out-of-region than when they have to send a full team in-region. It’s to describe that the team has a solid group of really good delegates but may not have enough depth at the bottom of the team to keep up with other local teams at full-strength. It’s not meant to describe the distribution of grade levels in a team.

      Of course, this is just interpreting numbers — I could be wrong and that the team sent its “best overall team” to the regional conferences rather than the out-of-region ones, but then that’d also mean the out-of-region conferences were probably less competitive than we had weighted.

      • Chrissy Barnett

        Alright, thank you for answering my question! 🙂

  • Sasha Chhabra

    I just have a question about some internally inconsistent logic here- I put very little by these results, don’t get me wrong, Ryan you really need to get a real job, but I feel there’s misinformation here which needs to be clarified.

    a) Princeton High School has won CMUNCE for the past four years. This is not noticed, BD ignorantly proclaims here PHS is starting out with a win now. In the history of CMUNCE’s awarding best delegation awards, PHS has won all four of them.

    b) PHS goes to very few conferences, and while I won’t argue like those kids at JPS who put wayyyy too much in store by you, we do go to SHMUN every year, for the past four years. For some reason, you thought it suitable to mention that Horace Mann might go this year as some sort of “plus.” Princeton High School has won Best Delegation at SHUMUN every single year for the past four years- why is this not mentioned?

    That said… ryan, for your parents’ wallet’s sake, and for the cleanliness of your mother’s basement’s sake, please get a job.

    • Colin Mark

      Hi, Sasha.

      First of all, congratulations on making the top 25!

      I’m not sure if you are aware, but these rankings are strictly based on results from the 2011-2012 school year, so none of the awards from past years that PHS won are included.

      SHUMUN is this weekend, and Horace Mann will be sending our underclassmen and new delegates. SHUMUN will be factored into the June rankings, so if PHS keeps up its win streak, you will probably see it reflected in a couple of months. Best of luck to you – hopefully I’ll see you there!

    • Daniel Brovman

      First of all being one of the two seniors from HM that competed at CMUNCE against PHS, as well as having competed against PHS on several occasions at other conference, I’d like to congratulate you on having one of the best MUN programs I’ve ever encountered.

      The fact of the matter is that Horace Mann’s going to SHUMUN this year simply increases the competitiveness of the conference: the same would have happened if any other top 25 schools went to SHUMUN. Also, I don’t see how KFC and Ryan mention that since HM is going to SHUMUN is a plus: they just said that we have taken advantage of all the smaller conferences that take place around us, which is true. We have. We now go to almost all of the small and novice conferences in the NYC area.

      Also, I think you let your anger get in the way of what KFC and Ryan have really done for the Model UN community – that is bring it together. In the past we would go to conferences, compete, and leave them without continuing discussion with other clubs throughout the year. because of Ryan and KFC this has changed – we now have a forum on bestdelegate that we can talk to any SG or head of the club, or even a faculty advisor. Because of KFC and Ryan I started e-mailing with the faculty advisor of Mira Costa MUN – Mr. Timberlake and was able to gain insight on how they are arguably the most researched MUN team in the country.

      I dont say this simply to suck up to Ryan and KFC or to advance HM’s rankings, but the fact of the matter is you have to appreciate what they have done for us. The fact of the matter is that they have united Model UN programs and really have promoted the educational value of MUN.

      Lastly, the spirit of an entrepreneur is to start out with an idea and make it into something. The entrepreneurial nature of Ryan and KFC, as well as the entrepreneurial nature of our country is what has helped us in the past, and it is only because of these people who might not start off with a “conventional” job that the United States is where it is today.

    • Hai Bai

      I find you behavior inappropriate un-delegate like and unacceptable. You are by far one of the most arrogant and unintelligent men I have had the displeasure of listening to. Your obvious biases show through. Your shit delegation, PMUNC has historically dominated obviously weaker conferences such as SHMUN and to a lesser extent CMUNCE. I would hope to see Horace Mann wipe the floor with you this year. I’m sure their 8th graders could do the job. Your not so subtle attack on JPSMUN was uncalled for as JPSMUN completely dominated your school at VAMUN. 11 out of your 21 gavels? ouch. Not only that, but your attack on Ryan was uncalled for. He runs an important site that he is about. Although his ranking of JPSMUN was terribly done and they should be in the top 5. And for Princeton MUN’s wallet’s sake just don’t go to conferences… you don’t win much anyway.

      -Raj Gandhi John Connon School. Mumbai.
      Call me Hai Bai
      Want to give shoutout to my friends at UChicago and JPSMUN. see y’all at HMUN next year!

    • Kevin Felix Chan

      Hi Sasha,

      In reply to your two points:

      a) This ranking is meant to measure the team’s achievements for the 2011-12 season. It is not meant to measure a team’s achievements for its lifespan (of which we don’t have data). Winning Best Small Delegation at CMUNCE is a great achievement. At the same time, we determined that there were at least 21 conferences that data showed us were more competitive than CMUNCE. With at least two large delegation award winners at each of those 21 conferences, just using one conference alone would make a Best Small Delegation at CMUNCE be equivalent to 43rd place or lower (assuming all Best Smalls were actually 3rd place overall at each conference, which is rarely the case). However, our rankings take into account four scores.

      b). Horace Mann already has 4 conference scores. Again, our methodology caps scores at four conferences this year. Therefore, SHUMUN is a plus for them because it’s not possible to score more points from SHUMUN than any of the four conferences they have attended already. For teams that have attended four or fewer conferences, especially if one of those conferences is considered less competitive than SHUMUN, then SHUMUN would mean more because that score would be taken into consideration. SHUMUN has yet to take place, so the results there could impact the final rankings in June.

      Finally, I would discourage you from making an ad hominem against Ryan. He worked in a “real job” at Goldman Sachs for several years before deciding to leave to start his own education company despite his manager asking him to stay on. Now he spends his time teaching Model UN in classrooms and community organizations around the world, and we spend our own free time and money visiting conferences to publicize them for the best interest of the entire community. The rankings service is something that Ryan and I provide for free on our own time. If you feel like it’s flawed, then please provide constructive feedback. If you don’t agree that a rankings service should exist, then please do not use this free service. The whole point of the rankings was to recognize teams that did well and hopefully give them some publicity so that they can do even better. Thanks.

    • Anonymous

      Does anyone know who won at SHUMUN and if schools treated it as a training conference or instead brought their entire team including upperclassmen?

    • Anonymous

      Does anyone know who won at SHUMUN and if schools treated it as a training conference or instead brought their entire team including upperclassmen?

      • Colin Mark

        Horace Mann brought a team of 18 freshmen, 9 sophomores, and one new-to-MUN junior. Princeton High brought a full team, upperclassmen and all.

        Horace Mann won 6 bests, 3 outstandings, 8 honorables, and 2 best position paper awards.

        Princeton High won 3 bests, 4 outstandings, 5 honorables, and 2 best position paper awards.

        Horace Mann won best large delegation. I’m not sure who won best small delegation.

        The conference was notably well run and a great end to our MUN season.

        • Liv Rand

          Colin, you’re the greatest!

        • Arpi Youssoufian

          Hi Colin,

          I’m the VP of PHSMUN this year, so I can clear up a couple things. I didn’t attend SHUMUN this year; however, I did hear that HM put on an outstanding performance, and that your delegation certainly deserved its best large delegation award. Congratulations to you and your team – it is always a great experience competing against another great delegation, and in particular Horace Mann.

          I don’t have specific numbers since there were a number of last minute changes, but I can give a general idea of the PHS delegation: PHS brought about 30 delegates this year, about 3/4 of whom were underclassmen. For many of them, SHUMUN was their 2nd conference. The upperclassmen, of course, have had more experience, and they tended to be the delegates with the higher awards from our delegation. We use SHUMUN as a training conference, since it is relatively smaller compared to the other conferences we attend during the year (ex. PMUNC, NAIMUN). This year the conference was certainly a different experience, as JPS didn’t participate but we were faced with great competition from HM.

          I also heard that the conference was very well run this year – in previous years, there had been complaints such as difficulties with crisis and the somewhat malformed structure of committees, but there didn’t seem to be much of that this year. I can say with certainty that PHS feels the same way in that SHUMUN was a great conference with which to end the year.

          In regards to the PHS ranking – I am perfectly content with it because it demonstrates how far we have come in a year and how much more we can do. Our delegation lost a number of great senior delegates in the past two years, and I am very pleased with how we were able to perform this year.

          And Sasha – please keep the derogatory comments to a minimum.

          • Colin Mark

            Hey Arpi,

            Thanks for the clarification. I wrote that Princeton High School brought a full strength delegation based on Sasha’s writing earlier that SHUMUN is not a training conference for your team.

            Thanks for the kind words – they mean a lot to our new delegates.

            I can safely say that if the delegation I saw (I was not competing, so I visited almost every committee and observed) was primarily underclassmen, then Princeton High School MUN has a great couple of years ahead of it.

  • Anonymous

    To be honest, the only ranking here that can be said for certain is Horace Mann as the number one school in the nation. The rest of these rankings are simply subjective, like an award in a Model UN committee.

  • Anonymous

    I think the best delegate staff does a great job for the most part. One criticism I do have is that it seems that there is a bit of a bias and benefit of the doubt for the top 5 teams in both the high school and collegiate circuits. There also seems to be some sort of a need or want to have west coast teams on both circuits overrepresented.

    It will be funny to see how the college circuit rankings end up and how the ‘we award total performance rather than just team awards’ statement plays out. If there’s no change to the top 10 in the college circuit this websites ranking system will turn into a farse.

    • Ryan Villanueva

      Thanks for your comment and kind words. Could you please explain the West Coast bias you see in the rankings? We have only 3 California teams in the High School Top 25, and most of the high school teams we’ve listed above are East Coast (particularly NY/NJ area and Florida).

  • Varun Hegde

    While I lack the eloquence of Zander, I think my friends at HM MUN will agree with me when I say that people who truly enjoy Model United Nations do not do it for a #1 ranking. Rather, delegates should attend conferences because they actually enjoy representing the beliefs of other nations and people.

    I congratulate all the schools on this ranking list for honoring your school; however, don’t get too caught up on the rankings. Enjoy yourself at a conference instead of worrying about awards and you’ll find that you come out a changed person.

    Oh and the other thing that I’ve been thinking recently is that this website is not a godly authority on all matters MUN. Forget the rankings and rank schools on your own. I personally know who my competition is as soon as I walk into a committee room. I know which schools tend to produce smart and eloquent delegates. I don’t need a website to tell me who to look out for in committee.

    To address the apparent “poverty” associated with JPS high school, my highschool — WW-P High School South — has been subjected to similar budget cuts because of state funding cuts. First, recognize that attending three conferences is three more than the number of conferences that the average high school goes to. Second, recognize that your school district will increase funding and allow more MUN related activities if your club can prove to the school board that it can involve many students.

    At South, we have over a hundred students interested in attending each conference. Having so many interested students is a good way to convince your school board that JPSMUN is of high educational value to students. Instead of complaining about low funding, (JPS IS NOT IN A STATE OF POVERTY) I recommend that the JPS model united nations club send letters to each member of the school board and petition for greater funding to involve more students in a rewarding experience.

  • Ryan Villanueva

    Thank you KFC, Hai Bai, and Daniel for your kind words in my defense.

    I actually think that the discussion across all the comments on this thread has been great — it reflects Best Delegate readers’ passion for Model UN and their respective schools.

    Sometimes this passion comes off as angry or upset. I’d encourage everyone to keep their comments cool and maintain perspective.

    The discussion over where teams should rank is great, but the larger question for the Model UN community is: what should these rankings represent? And how should we design the rankings to achieve that purpose?

  • Anonymous

    I don’t mean to put down Horace Mann but I attended a conference with delegates from the school and they used laptops at a conference where laptops where strictly prohibited. They did it in the broad daylight too! I should know because I actually worked with them on a resolution and guess what? They won Best Delegate! Now it takes more to win Best Delegate than access to laptops, but I find this unfair with other students who don’t have such privileges.

    • Anonymous

      Which conference was this? To the best of my knowledge, all of the away conferences HM attended (NAIMUN, ILMUNC, CMUNC) except PMUNC allowed delegates to use laptops. HM wholly did not use laptops at PMUNC, but acted with in their right to do so at every other conference.

    • Maurice Farber

      Hey canihugyou,
      I am one of the Under-Secretary Generals on Horace Mann MUN and I want to address your concern. Of the conferences that we attended, only Princeton (PMUNC) didn’t allow the use of laptops, and in cases where laptop policy was at the chair of the committee’s discretion, we followed accordingly. In the spirit of competition, Horace Mann never breaks the rules of a committee and conference; we take great pride within our program for playing the ‘game’ fairly. Perhaps in the instance where you saw a Horace Mann delegate using a laptop, the conference stated that laptops were not allowed yet the chair of your particular committee did allow them in the interest of speeding up the writing process. I can assure you that in all committees/conferences where delegates are not allowed laptops, Horace Mann delegates handwrite their own resolutions.

      I hope this clears up your concern 🙂


    • Maurice Farber

      Hey canihugyou,
      I am one of the Under-Secretary Generals on Horace Mann MUN and I want to address your concern. Of the conferences that we attended, only Princeton (PMUNC) and U. Penn (ILMUNC) didn’t allow the use of laptops, and in cases where laptop policy was at the chair of the committee’s discretion, we followed accordingly. In the spirit of competition, Horace Mann never breaks the rules of a committee and conference; we take great pride within our program for playing the ‘game’ fairly. Perhaps in the instance where you saw a Horace Mann delegate using a laptop, the conference stated that laptops were not allowed yet the chair of your particular committee did allow them in the interest of speeding up the writing process. I can assure you that in all committees/conferences where delegates are not allowed laptops, Horace Mann delegates handwrite their own resolutions.

      I hope this clears up your concern 🙂


  • Gabriela

    Congratulations to all the high school teams in the US! I’ve lived in the Dominican Republic for a very long time, yet that does not diminish how proud I feel of being an American! It would be an honor if we could count with any, if not all, of your teams at the yearly MUN conference we have here named the International Conference of the Americas (CILA), it’s been deemed one of the best and biggest MUN conferences in the Americas! Hope the MUN circuit continues to grow and touch the lives of many people as it has throughout all these years; have a nice day and congratulations once again!

  • Anonymous

    I’d like people to look beyond these rankings and focus on the educational value of MUN. I feel like some schools get so fired up about these rankings it makes the MUN experience less enjoyable. I was at GW more than a month ago and delegates were yelling at delegations they did not like, and refusing to clap for certain delegations just because of rankings and such. Also, smaller delegations seem to be brushed off by larger, higher ranked ones. Im the Head Delegate of a brand-new (reactivated) club and chances are my school name will never grace this fine website, but one delegate from a highly ranked Southwest Florida school basically said, if your not ranked highly, don’t bother speaking with me. Im not attempting to make generalizations. Many of the top ranked teams in my committee were some of the nicest people I had ever come into contact with. Overall, Id like to point to the entire MUN community that the rankings and team reputation does not make the delegate, the delegate makes the team.


    • Ryan Villanueva

      Thank you for your comment. Very well said, and I agree. Delegates should be proud of their awards and rankings, but not solely motivated by them. And after our MUN careers are over, what matters are not the awards and rankings that we won, but the connections and friends we made.

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