Six competitors in the Montana Department American Legion State level High School Constitutional Oratory contest competed on March 6. Ella Henslee (third from left) from Big Sky represented District 7 at the competition. PHOTO COURTESY DOUG MARTIN

State level American Legion Oratory Contest

On March 6, 2021, the Montana Department of the American Legion hosted the “State” level High School Constitutional Oratory contest. For the first time in the Montana Department’s history, all the competitors were female. A total of six competitors from Harlowton, Kalispell, Wolf Point, Big Sky, Twin Bridges and Corvallis competed for a chance to represent Montana at the American Legion National High School Constitutional Oratory contest. Which, unfortunately, was canceled this year due to the ongoing pandemic. Each competitor presents two speeches, the first speech, is an original oratory that has to be eight to ten minutes in length. The second speech is an extemporaneous speech on one of four sections of Constitutional Articles or Amendments chosen at random that has to be three to five minutes in length. This year these six female competitors spoke about Article II, Section III (detailing a few of the Chief Executive’s duties and obligations). Since there will be no national competition this year the winner of the 2021 Montana Department of The American Legion Oratory contest, a senior from Harlowton, received an additional $5,000 scholarship in addition to $1,800 in scholarships from the Montana Department. Also, each competitor received $175 for reaching the department level competition.

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