General News

ACS Hosts American Legion High School Oratorical Event

ATHENS – The American Community Schools (ACS) Athens hosted its first event under the American Legion High School Oratorical Scholarship Program ‘A Constitutional Speech Contest’ on February 19. It is the fist step on a path that leads to the national championship in Indianapolis and awards in the amount of $25,000, $22,500, and $20,000.

Two dynamic ACS high school students faced off – 10th grader Lauren Fox and 11th grader Matson Holmgren. Both demonstrated poise and were well-prepared but in a contest where the scoring was very close, Fox was declared the winner. She then travelled to Thessaloniki the next day, where she defeated a student from that city’s Pinewood American International School. ACS is a PreK through 12 private international school located in the Athens suburb of Halandri.

ACS Hosts American Legion High School Oratorical Event. (Photo by Constantine S. Sirigos)

Fox won the 100 euro prize on the 19th and then the 200 euro award on the 20th. She now will participate in the European Semifinals on March 5 – first prize is 100 USD. The winner will then travel to Indianapolis for the finals April 23-24.

According to the American Legion, the purpose of the program “is to develop a deeper knowledge of the Constitution of the United States among high school students. Other objectives of the context include the development of leadership qualities, the ability to think and speak clearly and intelligently, and the preparation and acceptance of the duties and responsibilities, rights, and privileges of American citizenship.”

The two contestants made two presentations, one which they prepared in advance and another on an assigned specific topic they learned about the day of the contest. They were required to speak about the Constitution

ACS President Dr. Peggy Pelonis welcomed the guests – limited to the contestants’ family due to COVID restrictions – and Nicholas Papadopoulos, American Legion Commander and past AHEPA District 25 (Hellas) Governor. It was a touching moment for Papadopoulos as he reminisced that his daughter studied here for two years. He was please to note that when they returned to the United States, his daughter placed in top classes after testing, a tribute to the quality of the education at ACS.

After the contest, Commander Joseph Schram spoke about the scouting movement and the efforts to form new scouting units in Thessaloniki and Athens.

The judges included Amy Spassof, Thimios Zaharopoulos, recently retired as the Provost of the American College of Greece, and Dean Sirigos. Evelyn Pittas was the official tabulator and David Nelson, Principal of the ACS Academy joined Pelonis and Papadopoulos on the stage.



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