Arlington High’s model congress team won three awards this past weekend at the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious model congress competition in Philadelphia.
Eryk Dobrushkin received a “best delegate” award, and Tano Mejia earned two honorable mention awards.
The competition, which featured high schools from across the country and about 800 students overall, is the most competitive one and the hardest one to gain entry to in the nation, according to Kerry Dunne, the district’s K-12 social studies director and Teaching American History grant program director who led the team with Robert Hale.
“I sat in on a lot of debates,” she wrote in an email, “and I was so impressed with our Arlington kids, who overcame their innate politeness to mix it up with some really top-notch debaters.”
Dobrushkin and Mejia were two of about 30 students to be recognized with individual awards. Arlington sent 22 students, including senior captains Meiling Bedard and Kirby Stoff, who, along with senior Akihiro Komatsu, led the team’s after-school practices twice a week over the past few months. The three seniors made sure their team members were skilled in parliamentary procedure and that they came to the competition with well-prepared bills and speeches, Dunne wrote.
She said the team behaved better than the actual members of congress. “[They] represented Arlington very well,” she wrote.
The team returned home by train Sunday.