John Tyler High School student wins state oration contest

November 3, 2016


John Tyler High School student Triston Ferguson claimed a state title recently in the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest held in Austin. Triston advances to compete in the National SAR Oration Contest to be held July 10-11 in Boston, Massachusetts.


The Joseph S. Rumbaugh Historical Oration Contest is a competition where students are required to write and memorize a speech that took an event, person, or document from the American Revolution and compared it to something in today's society. Each student’s five- to six-minute speech (and accompanying manuscript) is judged based on composition, delivery, significance, and historical accuracy and relevance.


“The feeling of being able to express learning and passion in the form of Oratory is indescribable,” Triston said. “This contest gave me the platform to become educated about James Armistead, an individual who made a huge difference in our society, and it motivated me to delve into history more than I ever had previously. I am honored to be able to represent the great state of Texas at Nationals this summer.”


Triston received a $2,500 scholarship and a gold medal at the state competition. National awards will include a $5,000 scholarship to the first place winner, $3,000 to second place and $2,000 to the third place finisher. Fourth through sixth place runners-up are awarded $400 and all other national contestants are awarded $200.


“When you see a student find something in history that they can go, ‘wow I can relate to that’ it is an amazing feeling,” April Caldwell, John Tyler Speech and Debate sponsor, said. “This oration contest is one of the highlights of my year! To see these students research, write, memorize and perform their speeches, just confirms that this generation is capable of anything they desire. Upon meeting the men of the SAR my students gain not only mentors, but also men to admire and respect. We are grateful for the opportunities these men are providing."

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Tyler ISD Communications

Jennifer Hines

Executive Director of Communications and Public Relations

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