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Minnechaug students take top prizes at AIC's Model Congress

Date: 1/25/2010

Jan. 25, 2010

SPRINGFIELD -- Students from Minnechaug Regional High School took the top three awards at the 70th annual Model Congress at American International College (AIC).

Artur Wysoczanski was named the top delegate and awarded a full four-year tuition scholarship to AIC. Anthony Gabrielle placed second and received a half tuition scholarship to AIC for four years. Robert Skalbite was the third place winner, earning a one-quarter tuition scholarship for four years.

Kathleen Jones of Chicopee High School received an Honorable Mention Award. Sabis International Charter School in Springfield received the Outstanding Delegation Award.

The AIC Model Congress, the longest running event of its kind in the country, attracted more than 300 high school students from throughout New England and New York. The students wrote, amended, debated and voted on a variety of bills during the three day event while competing for for nearly $200,000 in AIC scholarships.

Local schools participating included, Agawam, Belchertown, Chicopee, Minnechaug, Sabis, Holyoke, Cathedral and Southwick-Tolland.

The Model Congress is organized and run by AIC students while faculty and staff members serve as judges, rating the participants on their debating skills and knowledge of parliamentary procedure.

Congressman Richard E. Neal (D-Mass.) delivered the keynote address to a joint session of Model Congress on Jan. 15 in the Griswold


Newly elected Agawam Mayor Richard Cohen was the featured speaker at the Awards Banquet on Jan. 16.

Among the bills debated at this year's Model Congress was legislation to implement the withdrawal of the U.S. from the United Nations, repeal the prohibition of marijuana, establishment the institute of legal joining and stopping animal abuse.

There were also bills aimed at prohibiting the sale of personal information to third parties, correcting the imbalance between the number of primary care physicians and specialists.