International Studies & Law Opportunities


Welcome back for the 2017-2018 School Year – let’s all work together to make it a fantastic year!!  Please take a few minutes and review all of the information below; I think you’ll find it interesting.

I was very lucky last spring to see two former Blazer ISL Academy students who are on the way to “living the dream” and becoming professionals in careers in which their Academy experience at Blair was instrumental.  Last June Kalisha Holmes (’09 grad) came and spoke along with former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough who served for eight years with President Barack Obama.  Kalisha is a State Department Foreign Service Officer who was home visiting from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China, en route to her next posting in Lagos, Nigeria. 

Earlier, in May, I was happy to attend the Georgetown University Edmund B. Walsh School of Foreign Service graduation ceremony where former Blazer Khadija Mohamud (’13 grad) received her diploma.  Khadija is headed off to Tuft’s University in Boston to earn her Master’s Degree under a special State Department fellowship that will lead to her working as well as a professional Foreign Service Officer with the State Department.

These two ladies, among many others, represent the best of what the Montgomery Blair High School experience is all about and the tremendous classes and opportunities our academies provide to students.

Capstone Project for 2017-2018: Any Academy of International Studies and Law student who has engaged in a Capstone Project but not yet presented your work is invited to present during this year’s fall Capstone Showcase on Monday, October 9.  There is plenty of time to prepare your reflective essay, journal, and presentation.  The Academy web site has some good guidance and also feel free to contact me and we can set a time to meet and talk.

Washington, D.C. Regional Ethics Bowl Competition: American University wants us back again this year for the D.C. Regional Ethics Bowl competition that will be held in January 2018.  Preparation will start soon, though, once the case studies are released in September.  This is a great Capstone activity for any ISL student as it tests your critical reading and reasoning skills through interesting and complex ethical situations that have no obvious or easy answers, and gives you a chance to interact with area public and private school.

Police Explorers Program: For students who want to explore a career in law enforcement the Police Explorers program is an excellent way to learn about a career and life as a police officer and also serves as a wonderful Capstone Project.  Go to their website to read about the program and find application information.  Again, Mr. Moose (in room 146) is happy to help with any questions or the application requirement. 

Academic WorldQuest Competition: The World Affairs Council of America sponsors the Academic WorldQuest competition each year that tests student knowledge in 10 critical areas affecting our world today.  We can take multiple teams of four students each.  The regional competition is held in March 2018, but preparations will begin as soon as the ten categories for this year are released sometime in October. We won the regional contest last year and advanced to the national championship at the National Press Club where Blazers faced the best teams from the entire country.  Lots of fun, very interesting, let’s win again this year!!

LearnServe International Opportunity: In past years Blair students have participated in a year-long program called LearnServe International.  This is a chance to meet throughout the year with mentors and students from the DMV as you create your own service oriented project as you receive help and mentorship along the way.  Please check the program out at this link accepting applications for Fellows and let me know if you are interested.  The application deadline has been extended for this year, but the sooner the better.

National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y): If you like languages, the U.S. State Department has a great program that offers high school students the opportunity to study critical foreign languages in countries around the world.  The program is called the National Security Language Initiative for Youth.  Eligibility information, application timelines and forms are available for the 2018-2019 program at the NSLI-Y website.  Please see Mr. Moose in the Social Studies office (room 146) and he will be happy to help with applications and any questions.  This is an exceptional activity that can easily be turned into a top-rate Capstone Project.  You have plenty of time, but applications are due in late October, so get started as soon as you can.

Model United Nations: Participation in our Model United Nations student club also affords you a chance to engage in a learning experience that can also be a wonderful Capstone Project.  Students study critical issues of the day and have the chance to participate in Student Model UN Conferences ranging from one to three days in the D.C. area.  Listen for announcements; meeting will begin early in the first quarter and continue once a week on an afternoon to be determined.

If you want to participate in any of the above activities, or if you just have questions, or if you just want to meet and talk about school, your classes, the academy, whatever, just send me an e-mail or find me in person and I would be happy to meet and talk.  I have a desk in Room 146, the Social Studies office, and also in Room 342, the Academies office.

Thanks, and I hope everyone has a fantastic school year!!

Paul K. Moose

Social Studies Department

Lead Teacher, Academy of International Studies and Law

Montgomery Blair High School



51 University Boulevard East

Silver Spring, MD 20901-2451