Riley Meckley, a junior at Ward Melville High School has won the 84th annual Suffolk County American Legion Oratorical Contest.  

Riley Meckley

Gene Ordmandy Jr., a past commander of American Legion Wilson Ritch Post 432 in Port Jefferson Station, was the representative from the sponsoring post. 

On Dec. 5, high school students from public and private schools in Suffolk County came together to compete in a speech contest based on the United States Constitution. Each participant had to prepare a 10 min speech (no notes allowed) based on the Constitution. The contest teaches the importance of research, preparation, speaking and presenting skills as well as the history of our nation’s laws. On Jan. 9, the winners from Suffolk, Nassau and Queens debate for the title of Long Island Champion. 

Besides their prepared oration, competitors also have to give a second speech based on an Amendment or Article in the Constitution. Over the next few months, there are several elimination rounds and regional winners advance to the New York State Finals in Albany. Last year, Riley took 3rd place at the NY state finals.