The following is a release from the American Legion:

Kylee Rice, a senior at Cliff H.S., was named this year’s winner of the American Legion Post #18 2014 Oratorical Scholarship Contest.  With her win, Kylee earned a $500.00 scholarship and a trip to Albuquerque, NM to compete in the Department of NM oratorical contest to be held on January 25th.

Post 18’s contest was held on Sat., Jan. 11th at the W.N.M.U. Besse-Forward Global Resource Center. Ms. Rice competed against four other area high school students representing Cliff H.S. and Silver H.S. Those students were Lisa Sloan, Cliff HS; Wyatt Moon, Silver HS; Marina Grinie, Silver HS and Jewell Mimm, Cliff HS.

It was evident that all the contestants spent many hours developing their heart-felt and inspiring presentations. Although there could be but one winner, through their effort and participation, all of the contestants gained a deeper meaning of the U.S. Constitution as well as valuable public speaking skills and experience.

The Constitutional Speech Contest was judged by five area volunteers including Kevin Cook, Freeport-McMoRan Community Development Manager; Lucy Whitmarsh, Silver City Main Street Director; Abigail Robinson, Grant County Attorney; Raul Villanueva, Grant County Sheriff and Ashleigh Garcia, Mimbres Regional Arts Council President.

In addition to her 8-10 minute prepared oration titled “What Can We Do?”, Kylee was also required to deliver a 3-5 minute presentation on the assigned topic, “Constitutional Amendment #4”. All contestants were allowed only 5 minutes to prepare for this assigned topic oration.

Post #18 was assisted in hosting the oratorical contest by American Legion Department of NM Commander, Paul Espinosa; Dept. of NM Oratorical Chairman, Clarence Ortega; NM National Executive Committee Representative, Felix Ortega and Dept. of NM Youth and Children Services Chairman, Ed Cheetham. Additionally, the contest would not have been a success without the enthusiastic participation of the Post #18 Ladies Auxiliary as well as invaluable assistance from The American Legion Riders Chapter #13.