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.
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February 18, 2021
The American Legion Department of Kentucky Area “A” division of the 85th Annual National High School Oratorical Contest was conducted on Sunday, February 14, 2021 at the Lee S. Jones Convention Center in Eddyville, Kentucky.
This year’s Champion for Area “A” is Jackson T. Boone. He is the son of Michael and Jill Boone of Calvert City and he is a Junior at Marshall County High School. Jackson’s winning Prepared Oration was titled “If Only the Founders Could See US Now.” Jackson competed as the winner of the First District competition and has earned $900 for his efforts. In addition, he advances to the Department (State) contest where he will compete for a $2,000 first prize and the opportunity to advance to the National Championship at Indianapolis, Indiana where he will compete for $25,000, 1st; $22,500, 2nd; and $20,000,3rd place prizes.
The second-place winner of the 2021 Area “A” contest is Jonna A. Clayton. She is the daughter of Amanda Barnett of Madisonville and she is a Senior at Hopkins Central High School. Jonna competed as the Second District Champion and her Prepared Oration titled “Dignify the Nation by Gun Education” garnered her a total of $700 on prizes. Amanda plans to attend college next year and is striving to achieve the highest standing she can in her senior class.
American Legion Post 73 has recognized three individuals affiliated with Quest Fitness of Murray for their support of the American Legion First District National High School Oratory Scholarship Fund.
Bill Cowan, Post 73 Commander stated that the owners and staff of Quest Fitness, through their “Journey to Freedom” initiative during 2020 was instrumental in the scholarships for students who participated in the contest. “We would not have been able to provide the scholarships this year, due to the COVID pandemic, if local people and businesses had not stepped up and helped us raise the funds,” Cowan said.
Post 73 Service Officer Mark Kennedy echoed the sentiments of Commander Cowan. “We are proud to present the Quest Fitness folks with a Certificate of Appreciation for their support of American Legion programs and the youth of our community,” Kennedy said.
The American Legion First District High School Oratory Contest was held on Sunday, January 17 at the Lee S. Jones Convention Center in Eddyville. The contest had four finalists and the District Champion is Jackson Boone who is a junior at Marshall County HS. He is the son of Michael and Jill Boone of Calvert City.
Amanda Peiffer, junior from Murray HS was the 2nd Place Winner and her brother Bradley Peiffer, a senior from Murray HS was the 4th Place winner. They are the son & daughter of Teresa Peiffer of Murray. Robert Schmitt, a senior at Livingston Central HS was the 3rd Place winner and he is the son of Robert & Karen Schmitt of Smithland.
District Champion Jackson Boone will now compete at the Area “A” contest on Sunday, February 14th at 2:00 against the winners from 2nd District and 3rd District. He can qualify to advance to the Department (State) contest in March for a chance to go to the Nationals in Indianapolis in April where the 1st Place prize is $25,000; 2nd Place is $22,500; and 3rd Place is $20,000.
“2021 District Oratory Group” photo: (L – R) seated are: Jackson Boone, District Champion; Bradley Peiffer, 4th Place; Robert Schmitt, 3rd Place; and Amanda Peiffer, 2nd Place. In the background are members of American Legion Post 73 of Murray who served as judges, monitors and escorts for the contest.
Mike Nutter of Legion Post 73; Jackson Boone, District 1 Champion; and Ed Ward of Legion Post 73 as Nutter & Ward present a $400 check to the champion