The purpose of The American Legion’s National High School Oratorical Contest is to develop a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the Constitution of the United States on the part of high school students. Other objectives of the contest include the development of leadership qualities, the ability to think and speak clearly and intelligently, and the preparation for acceptance of the duties and responsibilities, the rights and privileges of American citizenship.
2020 Madison County Oratorical Contest
Tom Paone, 2nd Vice Commander
The Madison County American Legion Oratorical Contest was held at the Madison City Hall on January 25th. Orators competed for scholarship money and the honor of representing Madison County in the District competition on February 1st at Post 15 in Decatur.
Post 237 teamed with the other Post in the county to conduct the contest. Tom McKinney, Post 229 Americanism Chairperson was the Master of Ceremonies and Chairman of the competition. Tom Paone assisted as Vice Chair and Moderator. Michael Kinney served as a contest Judge. Thad Paone pulled double duty as Timekeeper and Tabulator.
The six contestants in the 2020 competition were
Mason Lee, Providence Classical; Megan Watkins, 2nd Place from Madison County High School; Payton Groth, Providence Classical; Ellie Wilson, 3rd Place from Providence Classical; Haripriya Mantraratnam, James Clemens High School; Emily Drown, 1st Place, Home Schooled.
The Huntsville High Speech and Debate Team and their coach Elizabeth Clark observed the competition in hopes that some of their members will compete in 2021.
2019 Madison County Oratorical Contest
On Saturday January 26th, the Madison County American Legion Oratorical Contest was held at Madison City Hall. Post 229 hosted this event. Legionnaires from Post 351, Post 176 and Post 237 assisted with the event. Six students from James Clements High School (Madison City), and Providence Classical School (private Christian K-12) presented orations at the event.
Mr. Tom McKinney of Post 229 served as the Master of Ceremonies, contest coordinator and organizer. Tom and Sandra McKinney contacted all twenty-nine public and private high schools in city and county schools in Madison County. The judges were Ric Moore, Chris Batte, and Chris Brown. Legionnaires served as time-keepers, tabulators, ushers, and monitors. Post 229 provided the funds of $300, $200, and $100 respectively for the first, second, and third place finishers. Laura Charlotte Underwood repeated in first place, Emily Joy Drown was awarded second place, Anna Rebekah Sims was awarded third place.
Ms. Underwood will represent Madison County in the District Oratorical Contest at Decatur Post 15 on Hwy 31 South on February 9th at 10AM.
2018 Madison County Oratorical Contest
Jan. 2018 Oratorical Contestants and Post 229 and Post 351 representatives
On Saturday, 27 Jan., the eighty-first American Legion Oratorical Contest was held at the Madison, Alabama City Hall. Post 229, assisted by Post 351, sponsored this event. As the office of 2d V. Cdr., of Post 237 (whose duties are to coordinate much of the duties of this event) is temporarily vacant, our Post was represented by Historian Carpenter. Six students from Bob Jones High School (Madison City), Sparkman High School (Madison Co.), and Providence Classical School (private Christian K-12) presented orations at the event.
Mr. Tim McKinney of Post 229 was the Master of Ceremonies and contest coordinator and organizer, who had contacted all twenty-nine public and private high schools in city and county schools in Madison County. The judges were Kristy Harris, Terrence Linn, and Mike Gall. In addition to the Legionnaire judges, Legionnaires served as time-keepers, tabulators, ushers, and monitors. Post 229 provided the funds of $300, $200, and $100 respectively for the first, second, and third place finishers.