Model U.N. Program at HHS Gets $8K Boost from Nordson Corporation Foundation

Haverhill High School. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Students involved in Haverhill High School’s Model U.N. program will be able to travel to future conferences and other outside activities thanks to a recent prize awarded by the Ohio-based Nordson Corporation. Announced at the Oct. 11 School Committee meeting, the $8,000 grant was awarded to program instructor Zach Simmons in order to further general operations and encourage additional students to take part.

Haverhill parent Doug Cokely, whose son Sean—a 2018 HHS grad and former WHAV board operator—participated in the program, presented Simmons with the check on behalf of the manufacturing company’s Nordson Corporation Foundation.

As Cokely explained, Nordson selected Haverhill’s grant application after a rigorous review and site visit to meet with Model U.N. students. Cokely said students participate in local and regional competitions and are often invited to travel to New York City for a debate hosted at the United Nations building.

“It basically is a program that mimics the proceedings and work that the actual U.N. does and Mr. Simmons teaches students how to research topics and represent a certain country on issues of global importance—whether it’s sustainability or national security, any issue the U.N. deals with on a daily basis,” Cokely said.

The after school program affords students the opportunity to foster life skills that extend far beyond their time at Haverhill High, said Cokely.

“What these students learn are leadership and life skills: Learning how to lead, to research, how to consensus,” Cokely said, adding that Simmons and the 70 students who take part are well respected by the national and international Model U.N. organizers. “They are learning some very valuable skills.”

School Committeeman Paul A. Magliocchetti, whose son also takes part in the program, praised the efforts of Simmons for earning the city such positive recognition.

“This is an international company that acknowledged a program at Haverhill High School and I assume it was a national competition. Zach’s presentation got them to visit the high school and they were so impressed that they gave him this kind of money,” Magliocchetti praised.

With the money, Simmons plans to assist student participants with travel-related field trip costs, he said.