CELINA — The American Legion Oratorical Contest exists to develop deeper knowledge and appreciation for the U.S. Constitution among high school students. Since 1938, the program has presented participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation’s laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship.
High school students under age 20 are eligible. Competition begins at the post level and advances to a state competition. Legion department representatives certify one winner per state to the national contest, where department winners compete against each other in two speaking rounds. The contest caps off with a final round that decides the three top finishers.
The 2nd District Contest was held at the Tri Star Career Compact Complex in Mercer County on Feb. 21. The event was opened by John McJunkin, District Oratorical chairman, at 1:30, after the Pledge of Allegiance, McJunkin explained the contest rules, the students will give a prepared 8 to 10 minute oration referring to the Constitution, followed by a 3 to 5 minute speech on a Constitutional amendment.
The students competing were, Liberty Menke, a senior at New Knoxville High School and Tyler Rowen, a freshman at Parkway High School. Both students were very prepared and knowledgeable, delivered their orations very good before 3 contest judges and everyone in the room.
As the speaking part of the contest concluded, the judges and tabulators tallied the scores and then announced this year’s District winner. The winner was Liberty Menke, she will advance to the state contest that will be held on March 7. The judges spoke to all about the contest, saying both students were very good.
McJunkin, thanked all present who helped with the contest. The judges for the contest included, Ray Kramer, Celina, Greg Myers, Wapakoneta, and George Moore, Celina.
Any students interested in this program should contact McJunkin at firstname.lastname@example.org.