Sandy Spring Friends School



Updates from Upper School Academic Clubs: Model U.N., Quiz Bowl, and Speech Club

Updates from Upper School Academic Clubs: Model U.N., Quiz Bowl, and Speech Club

In addition to our core curricular and co-curricular offerings during the regular school day, our Upper School students also participate in a variety of extracurricular clubs throughout the year that provide opportunities for them to pursue their passions and interests beyond the school day. This February, several SSFS teams and clubs distinguished themselves and showcased their passions and expertise in various activities and competitions, doing the things they love best! See below for updates from the Model U.N. club, the Quiz Bowl club, and the Speech and Debate teams.

Model United Nations

By Chloe Jonasdottir '25

Model UN 2024

18 students from the SSFS upper school participated in the 61st annual North American Invitation Model United Nations conference in Washington, DC. We participated in a wide range of committees, from general assemblies that dealt with current world problems from the perspectives of countries to crisis and non-traditional committees that started with real historical issues then evolved into new directions through the imagination of the delegates. We all had a lot of fun both in and out of committee, forming new connections, learning about international relations, and making new memories. 

I was on a non-traditional committee about Iceland during the 2008 financial crisis. In the committee of about 25 people, each of us acted as figures who were relevant to making change during the collapse. The committee started right before the crisis, then we needed to work together to implement strategies to prevent it from worsening. Eventually, through our time in committee, we found ourselves re-writing the Icelandic constitution and establishing a national security apparatus to combat the war Russia had just waged on us because of our actions in the committee. Working together to solve the challenges that the staff threw our way was an amazing experience that helps collaboration skills, all the while remaining exciting. 

Quiz Bowl Team Earns Bronze Medals at MABL Championship

SSFS Quiz Bowl Team MABL Bronze Winners

By Eduardo Polón, Quiz Bowl Club Coordinator

QUESTION: For 20 points. Guess which college preparatory Quaker school earned bronze medals at the Montgomery Academic Beltway League’s 2023-2024 Championship Round, while continuing to distinguish itself as “an ideal setting for intellectual contemplation, diverse extracurricular pursuits, and personal growth?”


Finishing 17-4-1 in the MABL, including victories in the Championship Round over Churchill, Quince Orchard, and Bethesda-Chevy Chase high schools, SSFS capped off another remarkable academic competition conference season. Led by Captain Greta Garrettson-Taylor ’24, this year’s SSFS Quiz Bowl Travel Team is rounded out by Assistant Captain Diego Zein ‘25, Justin Carr ’26, and Nate Miles ‘26, and supported by up-and-comers like Ian Donahue ‘26 and Namir Pagen ‘26.

Next up, and sporting an impressive overall record of 26-5-2, our 'Beest Quizards are headed back to the television studios at Interface Media Group in Washington, DC, to compete in the It’s Academic semifinals on Sunday, April 14, at 12:15 PM, against Georgetown Day and Landon high schools. Meanwhile, you can see the team's opening round vs. Bishop Ireton and Westfield HS on the WETA YouTube channel.

Providing camaraderie for kindred spirits while celebrating academic achievement, intrascholastic Quiz Bowl Club and interscholastic Quiz Bowl Team provide healthy venues to foster friendships inspired by a mutual love of learning.  Best of all, it's fun!  For more information, contact Quiz Bowl Coordinator Eduardo Polón.

Speech Team Earns 2nd Place in the WACFL Sweepstakes Awards 

By Scott Carneal, Faculty Advisor for the Speech and Debate Teams

Each year, 70 schools in Virginia, Maryland, and DC compete in the WACFL (Forensic League) for the Sweepstakes Award, which is based on the results of 5 Regular Season Competitions and the Metro Finals Tournament. This year, the SSFS team won 2nd place among the 70 competing schools! 

2024 Speech Sweepstake Awards

  • 1st place: 192 points:  Our Lady of Good Counsel High School
  • 2nd place: 178 points:  Sandy Spring Friends School
  • 3rd place: 160 points:  Potomac School of McLean

See the recent blog post for more details about Speech and Debate team events from 2023-2024, and stay tuned for an April update, which will include the students who will be participating in the Nationals. 


Speech and Debate Team on Feb. 24 after Metro Finals

Subscribe To The Gnu Stories Podcast:

Listen on Spotify Listen on Apple Podcasts

More Stories