Albion student wins 84th annual county oratorical contest

Photos courtesy of Carol D’Agostino: These students made it to the final four in the oratorical contest through the American Legion. They are pictured on Friday in Kendall. Pictured form left include Willow Clark, second place; William Barnosky, first place; Ashley Ames and Layne Pearson.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 5 December 2020 at 9:52 am

KENDALL – The Covid-19 pandemic didn’t stop the 84th annual annual oratorical contest through the American Legion in Orleans County.

The Kendall Junior-Senior High School hosted the event on Friday, with two finalists from both Albion and Kendall.

Students needed to prepare and deliver an 8- to 10-minute speech on the U.S. Constitution. They needed to give the speech from memory.

William Barnosky and Ashley Ames competed from Albion, and Kendall’s representatives included Willow Clark and Layne Pearson.

Barnosky won first place and Clark was second. They advance to the regional competition in Buffalo in January.

This group includes front row from left: Carol D’Agostino, Kendall High School principal; Nadine Hanlon, clerk of County Legislature and former Kendall Board of Education president; American Legion members Charles Eberhart, Gary Befus and Phil Warne; County Legislature Chair Lynne Johnson; and Rich Gannon, Albion social studies teacher and coordinator of the oratorical contest at Albion. The students in back include Willow Clark of Kendall, William Barnosky of Albion, Ashley Ames of Albion and Layne Pearson of Kendall. Hanlon, Johnson and Warne served as judges.

“The oratorical event is one of the true highlights of our school  year,” said Carol D’Agostino, the Kendall principal. “It is our goal to sponsor as many student-centered activities as possible, of course safely, so that our students are not denied these educational experiences. We are always proud to welcome our veterans to Kendall to judge our students’ speeches.”

William Barnosky improved from his third place finish last year in the competition. His sister, Melissa Barnosky, twice was the state champion in the event, advancing to the national competition in 2018 and 2019.

The participants in Kendall’s oratorical contest are shown last week. They include, front row, from left: Katie Driesel (AP US Teacher), Chuck Eberhardt, Grace Levett, Abigail Barrett, Sara Mattle, Sharon Bennett, Urbine Bennett  and Michelle Goudreau. Middle row: students Riley Borkholder, Willow Clark and Layne Pearson. Back row includes Al Pulcino, Scott Galliford, Joe Sidonio and Carol D’Agostino.