Albion student to compete in national oratorical contest this weekend in Indianapolis

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 April 2018 at 11:59 am

Photo by Tom Rivers: Melissa Barnosky, center, was recognized at Monday’s Albion Board of Education for winning the state title in the American Legion’s oratorical contest. She is pictured with her mother Amy Barnosky, left, and Margy Brown, president of the Albion BOE.

ALBION – Melissa Barnosky will be in Indianapolis this weekend to compete in a national oratorical contest through the American Legion. Melissa, a senior at Albion, became the first Albion student to win the state title on March 3 in Albany.

She has also won the school, county, district and zone competitions. She earned a $6,000 scholarship when she won the state competition. Last year she was third in the state.

Barnosky has an 8-10 minute prepared speech on the U.S. Constitution and citizen duties and obligations to the government. If a contestant goes over or under the time frame, there are penalty points.

Barnosky also has four prepared speeches that are 3 to 5 minutes long on other assigned topics.

Barnosky plans to attend The College at Brockport this fall to major in journalism and broadcasting. She said she enjoys public speaking, researching history and preparing her speeches.

The national competition on April 14-15 includes the champions from the 50 states, plus additional territories and overseas departments of The American Legion.

The top prizes include scholarships of $18,000, $16,000 and $14,000 in the final round of the 81st  annual American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program.

The quarterfinals on Saturday from 9:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. will narrow field from 53 to 9. The semifinals from 3:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday will narrow field from 9 to 3.

The finals will be Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and will be webcast at

The Board of Education also recognized two other high school students Monday.

• Victor Benjovsky was presented with a Leadership Award. He is the student council president and shared a reflection on the PA system at school on March 14, the one-month anniversary of a school shooting in Florida. Benjovsky invited students to observe a moment of silence in the hallways that day.

• Harrison Brown received the Character Award for his compassion to his classmates, including students with disabilities.

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