A Winning Recipe

Danny Stock


Success at GDS has many faces. Some successes, like those in athletic competitions or artistic performances, are naturally more visible. Often, academic successes, both in the classroom and beyond, remain beneath the radar. Yet, this weekend, the academic achievements of two sets of students found recognition in competition on big stages. Congratulations to GDS’s It’s Academic and Model UN teams!


The team of Alex Moon ’20, Matt Siff ’20, and Arthur Delot-Vilain ’21 earned 715 points, nearly the combined score of their two competitors, Sandy Spring Friends and Poolesville High School. In five dominant rounds, the team managed to identify—or in some cases, anticipate—the dozens of questions announcer Hillary Howard was asking quickly enough to buzz in before their competitors.

Despite the wide variety of questions on the show, two memorable questions were both about Ancient Greece—one that they got and one that got away. Long before anyone else, Matt buzzed in to correctly answer that it was in fact Phaeton who, in Greek mythology, had driven the chariot of the sun too close to the Earth, creating the deserts of Libya. Matt and Arthur were irked to have been swindled by ‘The 4th letter of the Greek alphabet…’; they hesitated, thinking that the more complex question still remained in the rest of the sentence, and didn’t buzz in quickly enough.

Congratulations also to alternate Caleb Rosenman ’21, coaches History teacher and 9th grade dean Abe Pachikara and History teacher Sue Ikenberry, and special mention to Julie Steele ’22 who was marvelous as our mascot, the Mighty Hopper.

The It’s Academic team have qualified for the semifinals, which will take place May 2 at 9:30 a.m. against Blake High School and St. Anselm's. Thanks to Emmanuèle Delot and Sue Ikenberry for the photos.


Model UN club heads Emily Axelrod ’20 , Natasha Zimmermann ’20, and Nathaniel Rosenberg ’20 provided the following update on the successful first conference of the 2019-20 school year, Chantilly Model UN. Congratulations to the 85 members of the club who have been hard at work all year.

This past weekend, over 45 members of the Georgetown Day School Model United Nations (MUN) club participated in the 15th Annual CHMUN conference, hosted by the Chantilly High School in Herndon, Virginia. This was GDS MUN’s first official conference of the year. 

In Model United Nations, which is fashioned as a simulation of the actual United Nations, participants acting as member-nations debate global issues and work in groups to come up with solutions, on which the “committee” votes. Notable general assemblies at the Chantilly conference ranged from the UN Human Settlement Program to the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development. 

GDS students also had the opportunity to participate in specialized and “crisis” committees, which are smaller, faster-paced, and often stray from the UN-theme, with crisis committees being real-time simulations. For instance, one specialized committee modeled an Amazon board meeting. In some crisis committees, delegates tackled the 2020 Music Scene, representing musicians ranging from Travis Scott to Beyoncé, and the Naxalite–Maoist insurgency, where students attempted to bring Communism to 1970’s India.

GDS’s Model UN club, which has about 85 members, practices simulations weekly, honing students’ public speaking skills, negotiation techniques, and creative problem solving abilities. The club this year is very young, boasting a significant number of 9th graders, and in the wake of the Chantilly conference, the future is looking bright. 

Every GDS delegate was extremely well-prepared and ready to show off their toolkit of newly-acquired skills. Congratulations to each student that participated, and a special shoutout to our award winners!

Best Delegation:

Nathaniel Rosenberg ’20 – Ad-Hoc

Outstanding Delegations:

Natasha Zimmermann ’20 and Caleb Stutman-Shaw ’20 – UN Environmental Assembly 

Alissa Simon ’20 – Native American Tribal Council 1754

Verbal Commendations:

Emily Axelrod ’20 – Democratic National Convention 

Tayae Rogers ’20 – Amazon: Board of Directors

GDS MUN’s next conference is the Ivy League Model United Nations Conference (ILMUNC), hosted by the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia the weekend of January 31.

Staff writer Danny Stock tells the stories of teaching, learning, competing, creating, and performing at Georgetown Day School. He is a former GDS second grade teacher and current parent.