GREENE – Diana Viglucci’s compelling oration on the framework of the United States Constitution has carried the Greene High School senior further in the American Legion Oratorical Contest than any previous local competitor.
“I’m so excited to be going to the state level,” said the young scholar, who will head to Albany this weekend to compete at the department level of the veterans organization’s 73rd annual oratorical competition.
“No one has made it this far,” reported Lori Olsen, who serves as chair of the Chenango County American Legion’s oratorical committee.
According to Olsen, the American Legion Oratorical Contest is designed to encourage students to learn about the United States Constitution and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
“The program presents participants with an academic speaking challenge that teaches important leadership qualities, the history of our nation’s laws, the ability to think and speak clearly, and an understanding of the duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges of American citizenship,” she explained.
Competition begins on the local level, with winners advancing to progressively higher levels, accumulating scholarship money along the way. Viglucci first presented her oration at the county level competition, held in December. From there, she went on to take second place in the district competition in January. The finish was high enough to secure her a place in the zone competition, held in February, where she once again came out on top.
According to Chenango County American Legion Commander Hank Burnor, Viglucci has accumulated more than $600 in scholarship money so far, and will add at least $2,000 more to that total at the state competition.
Both Olsen and Burnor have nothing but praise for the Greene scholar’s performance at each level of competition. It is not only her well organized and insightful oration, they say, but also her confidence, poise and stage presence which have set her apart from other contestants...