The Louisiana Department of the American Legion held the state finals of its Oratorical Contest at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts (LSMSA) campus Saturday, February 29. Two high school students from Leesville and Erath high schools 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 $500.00. In addition, Northwestern State University President, Dr. Chris Maggio, announced that the winners will receive 3 hours of credit for Communications 1010 and a scholarship worth $1,600.00 over four years, should they attend NSU. This year marks the 8th time the state contest has been hosted by the university. The American Legion has held the competition since 1935. Sponsoring the contest is just one of the many ways in which the Veterans of the American Legion continue to serve our community. Natchitoches’ Boy Scout Troop 60 presented the flag, while NSU student volunteers kept things running smoothly. Faculty members from the LSMSA and NSU served as judges.
John Michael Murphy Shiner, a student from Erath High School, won the contest and will represent Louisiana at the American Legion National Oratorical Contest. Ilana Cannon from Leesville High School garnered 2nd place.
The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes to commend these impressive young people and to wish John Michael Murphy Shiner all the best as he represents the state of Louisiana in the national competition. The American Legion Oratorical Contest is a superb opportunity for a young person to grow and develop his or her skills in a variety of areas. We would love to be able to cheer on a student from Natchitoches Parish at next year’s contest.