By Kevin Shannahan
The Louisiana Department of the American Legion held the state finals of its Oratorical Contest at NSU’s Magale Recital Hall Sunday, March 3rd. Five high school students from across the state competed in prepared orations about an aspect of the United States Constitution and in an assigned topic that they did not know about until shortly before they had to present their piece.
The contest began at the local level with individual American Legion Posts sending contestants to district competitions. Those district winners then went on to the state contest held today. Today’s winner will earn a $1,000.00 scholarship, with 2nd place taking home $500 and 3rd place garnering $250.00. In addition, Northwestern State University President, Dr. Chris Maggio, who also served as a judge for the competition, announced that the winner will receive 3 hours of credit for Communications 1010 should they attend NSU. This year marks the 7th time the state contest has been hosted by NSU. The American Legion has held the competition since 1935. Natchitoches’ Boy Scout Troop 60 presented the flag, while NSU’s Tri-Sigma Sorority, Alpha Beta Alpha, Pride, Eta Sigma Phi Classics Society and Scholars’ College provided volunteers who kept things running smoothly.
Noah Howard, a homeschooled student from Baton Rouge, won the contest and will represent Louisiana at the American Legion National Oratorical Contest. Abena Berko from Alexandria’s Bolton High School garnered 2nd place while Ava Borskey took 3rd place. Zaige Willis and Michaela Rolosey will each take home a $100.00 prize.
The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes to commend these impressive young people and to wish Noah Howard all the best as he represents our state in the national competition. We would love to be able to cheer on a student from Natchitoches Parish at next year’s competition.