Hannah Hatch was selected to represent Vermont at the American Legions’ 77th National Oratorical Contest...(click for more)
Under the golden dome of Montpelier on Mar. 1, Hannah Hatch was selected to represent Vermont at the American Legions’ 77th National Oratorical Contest April 4-6,
2014 in Indianapolis, IN. Hatch placed first in the Vermont Department Oratorical Contest Finals. The daughter of Jason and Jennifer Hatch of Vergennes, Hatch is a
junior at Vergennes Union High School. Her Prepared Oration, “The Power of 9: Article 3 and the Supreme Court”, was completed in the 8-10 minute time limit. One of 5 j
udges, Rep. Diane Lanpher summed the accomplishments of both student orators by noting that it takes concentrated focus and knowledge of subject to speak 8-10 min. without
notes or a microphone (contest rules), challenging even to a legislator. Though representing VUHS in the Brain Bee, the Math Team and a member of the National Honor Society,
Hatch acknowledged that this was the most difficult competition thus far. By the contest rules, her prepared oration had to be on some aspect of the Constitution, with
emphasis on a citizen’s duties and obligations to our government. An Assigned Topic, based on one of four Amendments selected 5 min. before presentation, had to be given in a
3-5 min. time limit. The purpose of the assigned topic discourse is to test the speaker's knowledge of the subject, the extent of his or her research, and the ability to
discuss the topic as related to the basic principles of government under the Constitution. The randomly selected Assigned Topic was the First Amendment, an amendment that
protects the freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. March 1st was the third time Hatch competed for top honors. She first competed at Vergennes Post #14
in January. As the winner of the local contest, she represented Post # 14 at the District 1 contest run the morning of Mar. 1 at the Capitol. After lunch break, Hatch returned
to face the District 3 winner, Gage Sironi of Cabot High School. For first place, Hatch received $1500.00 and will go on to compete for the top prize of $18,000.00 in Indianapolis.
The National Finals contest will be live streamed on legiontv.org at 10 AM, Sunday, April 6, 2014. To learn more about the Oratorical Constitutional
Speech Contest, go to www.legion.org/oratorical.
Much credit goes to her coach, Cookie Steponaitis. She impressed leading senior
American Legion members as much as Hannah did. - Karlene DeVine, Chairwoman, Department of Vermont, Oratorical Program.