American Legion Post 109

Supporting Our Veterans and Community!

2014 Oratorical Contest Winners

Hartwell’s Zach Tellano was awarded first place and $250 on Feb. 1 for his participation in the 2014 Hartwell American Legion Post No. 109 High School Oratorical Contest. Tellano is the son of Randy and Ruth Daniels. He is a freshman at Hart County High School.

In addition Will Maxwell, the son of Brent and Holly Maxwell earned second place and $150 for his presentations, while third place and $100 was awarded to Daniel Gaines who is the son of Tim and Lara Gaines.

Attendees at this year’s contest, which was held on Feb. 1, were treated to seven contestants speaking for our country as a way of earning college scholarship awards.

The next step for Tellano took place on Feb. 8 in Jefferson where he competed with other winners from surrounding Northeast Georgia counties in the American Legion Georgia’s District 10 contest. He will also present his prepared oration at the next meetings of Hartwell’s American Legion Post No. 109 and Rotary Club.

At the local Hart County event, each contestant had to speak twice starting with a prepared oration of between eight and 10 minutes on any aspect of the Constitution of the United States of America. As was required, this had to be an original work each had written and in which they emphasized the duties and obligations of a citizen to our nation.

For their second presentation each spoke extemporaneously for between three and five minutes on one of four specific sections of our Constitution which had been previously assigned. However, none of them learned which of these sections was the one to be presented until very shortly before stepping out to do so. This year each had to address the audience on the First Amendment which deals with our rights to religion, freedom of speech, a free press and to petition our government for a redress of grievances.

Carefully chosen judges independently graded each contestant, and the scores were then combined by separate officials in order to determine the winners.

The American Legion National High School Oratorical Scholarship Program has been operating for over 75 years. This “Constitutional Speech Contest” is one of many throughout Georgia and the nation. Participants must be a citizen and lawful resident of Hart County; a bona fide student under age 20; and enrolled in the ninth- through 12th grade of a high school or middle school (public, parochial, military, private or state-accredited home school). After the district event, winners at each succeeding level progress on to area, state and national contests. Cash scholarship awards await them at each level, culminating in a prize of $18,000 for the winner at the national contest in Indianapolis, Indiana in April.

Photos of Winners and Contestants