Model UN hires new assistant sponsor

Augie Mikell and Anne Ribordy

In mid-October, Jesse Sisler, instructional aid for the Special Education Department, was chosen to be the new assistant sponsor for South’s Model United Nations (MUN) team.

Although Sisler doesn’t have any previous experience with MUN, he became aware of the position from a co-worker. His role is to help MUN Sponsor Terry Jozwik lead meetings for both members and the board, to assist in the process of choosing who goes to conferences and to observe South delegates compete. Sisler states he was interested in the position because of his background in social studies and his desire to teach the subject.

“I didn’t have any prior experience with Model UN in any capacity, and I figured it was a good way to get involved in something that fits my areas of study more,” Sisler said. “I knew that Glenbrook South has a good team, so I wanted to be a part of that.”

Josh Koo, assistant principal for student activities, states that the position was posted last spring. When interviewing potential sponsors for clubs, Koo looked for adults that possessed leadership skills and had the ability to connect with students.

“I look for responsible, passionate and engaging adults to look [out] for our students,” Koo said. “[I tried to find] a teacher or any adult that had that capacity to balance the excitement and energy with guidance and responsibility,” Koo said.

Principal Dr. Lauren Fagel expresses that Model UN is staffed with two sponsors because there are approximately 80 members that consistently go to meetings and it’s challenging to manage that amount of people with just one sponsor. Fagel states that the administration will most likely create a posting for head sponsor next spring.

“[Jozwik’s] goal and our goal is to find someone who’s working during the day to become the head sponsor and then maybe [Jozwik] could become their assistant and, eventually when he’s ready, he would no longer be a part of it,” Fagel said. “He’s awesome and will do it as long as he can, but it’s easier when the person is in the building.”

In the short amount of time Sisler has been a part of the team, Jozwik says he has been impressed by Sisler’s ability to develop strong relationships with members.

“[Sisler] has gone out of his way to get to know [members] at team meetings and conferences,” Jozwik said. “He truly enjoys helping them, feeling a genuine happiness for them when they succeed, and compassion for them when they struggle in challenging committees.”

An instance where Jozwik noticed Sisler’s commitment was at the Chicago International Model United National conference that the GBS Model UN team attended from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2. One aspect to this conference is the “midnight crisis,” where delegates are awakened in the middle of the night to debate a serious crisis that has just taken place.

“When I walked out of my room at 2 a.m. to watch our delegates in action, I was very pleased to see Mr. Sisler waiting at the elevator,” Jozwik said. “He did not bat an eye about getting up in the middle of the night. Most advisers do not [do this, but] Mr. Sisler did and he actually enjoyed doing so!”   

Sisler says his goal this year is to focus on growth, no matter how experienced the student is with Model UN, and to create a sense of cohesiveness within the team.

“I just want to make it so that when these students are done with their four years at [GBS], they can say they had a better experience because of Model UN,” Sisler said.