March 26, 2019

Vermont oratorical champ heads to Indy

Elliott Rice, a Lake Champlain Waldorf High School senior and grandson of Jim and Lucy McCullough of Williston’s Catamount Outdoor Family Center, won the Vermont Oratorical Championships on March 10 in White River Junction.

He will represent Vermont at the American Legion National Finals in Indianapolis on April 14-15. He received a $1,500 prize for his performance. Sponsored by the Colchester American Legion Post # 91, Rice had won local and district competitions to qualify for the state finals. He is the son of Lisa McCullough and Richard Rice of Shelburne.

The contest involves an original oration of 8-10 minutes on some aspect of the Constitution, with emphasis on a citizen’s duties and obligations. The oration must be given without using notes, a microphone or a podium.

Contestants are judged on originality, application of knowledge, analogies, logic and comprehensiveness, as well as diction, language use, poise, eye contact and posture.    

Rice addressed the right to vote, applying examples from personal family history as well as current events.

Rice will compete with high school students from each of the 50 states at the national finals in Indianapolis. The national winner receives $18,000; second and third place receives $16,000 and $14,000 respectively.

The national contest will be live streamed at 10 a.m. April 14 on For more information, go to

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