Makaylah Jones, Maryville High School senior, placed third in the VFW district Voice of Democracy contest and second in the American Legion Zone Oratorical contest.

Makaylah Jones, MHS senior, stands with the oratory contest awards presented to her by the VFW and AL. Representing both organizations are Ron Jones and Bob Bohlken.

Jones is the daughter of Aaron and Angie Jones, Maryville.

The Voice of Democracy topic was “My Vision for America.” Each contestant produced an original, typed essay delivered on a three-to-five minute audio recording.

The entries were judged on:

• Treatment of the theme with imagination and human interest

• Ideas expressed clearly and in an organized manner

• Speaking voice is clear and believable

Jones received a $100 scholarship.

Trudy Kinman, MHS English, speech instructor and forensic coach, served as Jones’ advisor and mentor. Kinman has served the past 10 local contestants representing VFW Post 442. Bob Bohlken and Ron Jones serve as contest co-chairs.

Jones represented the James Edward Gray American Legion Post 100 on January 28 at the American Legion Zone Oratorical contest.

Four district winners competed for the right to advance to the state competition. In a close contest, she placed second behind a contestant from Truman High School.

“This is the most intense contest that I coach,” Kinman said. “Students need to write a five-to-six minute speech about the Constitution of the US and memorize it. Then, they need to study the Constitution and be able to speak extemporaneously on an amendment of article that is drawn at the contest.

“They have five minutes to prepare,” she continued. “They then give a three-to-five minute speech without notes. The extemp featured Article II, Section 4, which deals with the impeachment of the president of the US, so the extemp portion was timely and interesting.”