American Legion National Oratorical contestants (ltr) Zachary Smith of Smyrna, DE; Ryland Ploeger of Lake Stevens WA; Mackenzie Arnold of Wantage, NJ;Kayla Giordano of East Lyme, CT; Kate Park of Los Altos, CA; and Paul Popa of Saline, MI listen to Colorado Legionnaire and contest moderator Paul Talafuse go over the ground rules for the quarterfinal competition. At far left is Indiana Legionnaire Ida Jewell who is the tabulator and timer for this group of contestants. (Photo by Eldon Lindsay)

Oratorical finals set

The field is set for Sunday's American Legion’s 76th National Oratorical finals in Indianapolis. The three high school orators advancing to Sunday's competition are:

Agnes Rieger of Kansas City, Mo. Her oration is titled, "Let's Talk About Pennsylvania."

Elizabeth Scannell of Goose Creek,, S.C. Her oration is titled, "The Constitution: A Compass for Our Times."

Rachel Schartz of Humboldt, S.D. Her oration is titled, "Sewing Freedom."

The finals will be streamed live at 10 a.m. (EDT) on The first-place recipient will be awarded an $18,000 scholarship, and second- and third-place finishers will receive $16,000 and $14,000 scholarships, respectively. During the finals, each competitor will present their prepared oration and a speech on an assigned topic discourse — a phase of the Constitution selected from Articles and Sections — in front of a panel of judges and audience members.

All 53 orators received a $1,500 scholarship for competing in the Oratorical Contest quarterfinals. And the nine competitors who advanced to semifinals each received an additional $1,500 scholarship.


  1. You have awesome potential Ross! Each time you speak, you excel to a higher level! All your family and friends are rooting for you.... We are all so proud of you. We know you'll show Nevada proud!!!!
  2. I know Paul is ensuring they know the rules completely. He taught me about how wonderful the program is during Legion College.
  3. Aggie Rieger has been performing Amazing! Congratulations to her for making it to the finals. I am looking forward to watching you compete in the finals! Hopefully you will be the next winner from Missouri! Ed
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.