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American Legion Post 82 announces Oratorical Contest winners for 2017
Judges, standing left to right: Tajsha Eaves, Ali Paksoy, and Gregory McIntyre. Timekeepers seated: Doug Gold and Jason Falls.

A senior from Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy in Henrietta is the winner of the 2017 American Legion Post 82 High School Oratorical Contest. Thomas Gabriel Turner Jr. won the contest for the second consecutive year. In 2016 Gabe went on to become state champion, and competed in the national contest in Indianapolis, Indiana. He will now advance to divisional competition in Marion, NC. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Gabriel Turner Sr. of Ellenboro, he plans to attend UNC Greensboro and study music.
First runner up was Caroline Yount, a senior at Crest High School. She is the daughter of Mrs. Paula Bonino of Shelby, and plans to study agriculture at North Carolina State University.
In third place was Blanca Hernandez, a junior at Cleveland Early College High School. She is the daughter of Bernardo and Adela Hernandez of Shelby, and is undecided about her college plans.
Judges for the competition were Tajsha Eaves, an instructor at Cleveland Community College; Ali Paksoy, a district court judge; and Greg McIntyre, a local attorney.
Timekeepers for the event were retired magistrate Doug Gold and Cleveland County Commissioner Jason Falls. McIntyre, Gold, and Falls are members of Post 82 in Shelby.
Present for the competition were teachers Matthew Love of Cleveland Early College; Derek Greene of Crest High, and Cleveland County School Board member Danny Blanton. The contest was held in the Ascension Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall on January 10th.
Submitted by Ludy Wilkie

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