ALBANY - Five high school students from around New York State competed Saturday (March 8) in the New York State American Legion Oratorical Contest at Sand Creek Middle School here, with Andrew R. Hartnett of Cobleskill-Richmondville High School grabbing the state title.
Hartnett receives a $6,000 scholarship and goes on to national finals April 5-6 in Indianapolis, Indiana, where the top three orators will share $50,000 in scholarships, New York State American Legion Commander Kenneth Governor noted. Hartnett is a senior at Coblesill-Richmondville High, located in Richmondville, Schoharie County.
The Legion Oratorical Contest features original speeches on some aspect of the U.S. Constitution, noted state Oratorical Chair Anthony L. Peternostro.
The other finalists are:
– Sarah Thomson, a home-schooled student from Rochester in Monroe County, who took second place and a $4,000 scholarship.
– Nidhi B. Shah of Horseheads High School in Chemung County, who won third place and a $2,500 scholarship.
Runners-up were James R. Gallaher of Xavier High School in New York City and Sarah A. Bogen of Pius V School in Mellville, Suffolk County. Both receive $2,000 scholarships.
The five students had competed in county, district and zone competitions to become state finalists.
Commander Ken Governor poses with oratorical finalists (from left) James R Gallagher, Sara A Bogen, Andrew R Hartnett, Nidhi B Shah and Sarah Thomson. Photo/DOUG MALIN