American Legion Post 52 hosts annual speech contest
Special to the Enquirer
The annual American Legion Oratorical Contest was held Jan. 14 at Hartselle’s Post 52. The contestants were required to a present an 8–10-minute speech of some content of the U.S. Constitution of the contestant’s choosing, emphasizing the duties and obligations of a citizen to the United States. The contest also required the contestant to speak for 3-5 minutes on a randomly drawn constitutional amendment, all without any notes.
This year’s winner was Samantha Simmons of Hartselle High School with her speech “Jury Duty: The Constitutional Call to Duty” with Halee Evans, also of Hartselle High School coming in second place. Judging the contest this year was Mary Yarbrough, Commissioner Randy Vest, Judge Kevin Kusta, Lee Greene and School Board member Daxton Maze. Simmons walked away with $500 in prize money. Evans was awarded $300 for her win. Simmons will progress to the next level of competition in hopes to eventually end up at the national contest. The 2022 National Oratorical winner, who was from Birmingham, was awarded a total of $29,500 in scholarships funds.
Since 1938, The American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program has encouraged the nation’s high school students to study the U.S. Constitution and hone their public speaking skills.