A David and Goliath Story

New Tech @ Coppell wins Excellence Award for Research and Preparation


Photo courtesy Hilary Nguyen

New Tech @ Coppell’s Model United Nations team stands at the Model UN conference in New York on Feb 29. New Tech brought home its first Excellence Award for Research and Preparation Award in its first year of competing internationally. Cutline by Yash Ravula.

Nicolas Reyes, Staff Writer

New Tech @ Coppell had approximately 35 members, many schools brought 1,000 delegates. Numbers-wise, it was like North Carolina competing against teams the size of the United States. They were by no means the favorite, but in the wise words of Rocky Balboa, “As a fighter, when you got nothing to lose you’re dangerous.”

On March 2, New Tech won the Excellence Award for Research and Preparation at the Model United Nations conference in New York City. This was the first year the school competed in an international competition and they came home proud to show off their silverware.

“I was very surprised,” senior Model UN president Hilary Nguyen said. “I didn’t think there was any way we could beat schools with more than 1,000 delegates competing, so to be able to win that award representing both New Tech and Texas is an amazing feeling.”

Nguyen has been in Model UN for the past four years. As an experienced member, she knows hard work was going to be the make-or-break factor in the competition.

“Since this is an international competition, it is very intense compared to our other competitions at the YMCA or the University of North Texas,” Nguyen said. “We had to do a lot of research. I prepared master documents with different resources such as ‘how to compose an opening statement’ and a list of things to do before a deadline to make sure everyone was on track. And [I also] hosted workshops to get us ready.”

Founded four years ago, New Tech’s Model UN club is still very new. Since it was founded, former president and New Tech senior Grace Kottak has played a large role in developing the curriculum that ultimately led to success. However, Kottak said there was more behind the win besides preparation.

“Since we have started the club, we have made it a point to excel not just in winning awards but taking ourselves outside of our comfort zones,” Kottak said. “It is what pushes us forward against these larger organizations.”

Preparation for the next international competition begins next school year, and junior Marc Hatanpaa thinks there is still more to improve on.

“We can prepare even more,” Hattanpaa said. “Once I arrived in New York and walked into that room and saw what everyone else brought, I thought ‘oof, I can still bring more.’’I’ll also keep working on my debating because there is no limit to how well someone can talk or how well they can argue.”

For seniors Nguyen and Kottak, the award drew an end to their Model UN careers, but their eight combined years of experience will continue to affect them both as they attend the University of Texas in Austin.

“Before joining Model UN I wanted to major in graphic design, but now I really want to work in something human rights-related and something international,” Nguyen said. “Which is why I’ll be majoring in international relations.”

Likewise, Kottak is looking to use her Model UN experience in the working world.

“I am hoping to tie architecture and environmental planning into public policy, which goes with my roots in Model UN,” Kottak said.