Skip To Main Content

A Winning Speech by a Driven Student

Jim Norman

Canterbury’s own Bryce Stone ’23 took home the gold! He finished in first place at the 6th District of the American Legion’s annual Oratorical Contest on February 5 in Bethlehem, CT. The event showcased the best and brightest high school students in Litchfield County delivering speeches focused on the U.S. Constitution. 

Bryce was required to deliver a 10-minute speech on some aspect of the Constitution as well as give a five-minute, extemporaneous address on a topic that was assigned to him at the contest. For his longer speech, Bryce chose to address rights versus responsibilities. 

“I really dug deep into this,” he shared. “I talked about the First Amendment, freedom of speech and the freedom of the press; the Second Amendment about the right to bear arms; and the Fifteenth Amendment, the right to vote.”

He added: “We have responsibilities as U.S. citizens. For example, yes, you have the right to speak freely and criticize our government, but you also have the responsibility that what you say needs to be factual and backed up with evidence, so you do not cause mistrust and division in our nation.”

Winning the district in front of family and friends was special for Bryce, and he is clearly passionate about the subject matter. “Honestly, I felt a sense of relief when I found out I won, but it also felt really good having all my hard work pay off,” he shared. “As a young American, I feel that learning the Constitution is important so that you know your responsibilities and what rights you have.”

Following his district win, Bryce is advancing to the state competition on March 5 in Meriden. State winners earn a trip to the national finals and a chance to earn a $20,000 scholarship. 

Canterbury’s Performing Arts Department Chair Sarah Armstrong coached Bryce throughout the process. Announcing his win to the campus community, Sarah said, “This is a really big deal. He has worked so hard on his speeches since September. Congratulations to Bryce!”