Peabody High Student Kourtland Marcotte Wins First Place at American Legion Oratorical Contest

American Legion has a long and proud history of teaching students the importance of the U.S. Constitution.

They encourage students to engage in debates to understand it.


Kourtland Marcotte says he learned how the constitution still impacts America today.

“I remember a quote I said. It was by Abraham Lincoln. He said the people are both the masters of both the Congress and the courts. Not to overthrow the Constitution but the men who pervert it.”


He worked hard to earn first place at the American Legion Oratorical Contest.

“I really didn’t think I was going to win because I actually won by one point too. It was a very close race. They all had great speeches. I was really surprised.”


Peabody High English Teacher Gary Stewart says he feels proud to help Kourtland with his speech.

“I just really wanted him to build up his confidence and his courage because he always got high aspirations of actually running for president and we really felt like this would be a great experience for him.”

Stewart says it was important for him to understand why the Constitution matters.

“Knowledge is key, and it wasn’t just a bunch of gibberish. Like writing actually paved the way for America to be here.”


Through the contest, he learned how valuable the U.S Constitution is to Americans.

“I think it just meant that it’s not the document that’s the problem itself, it’s the people who are in charge of the document that actually causes the problems.”


Kourtland says the experience taught him how to speak publicly and appreciate history.

He won a $250 scholarship and will travel to Lafayette for the American Legion’s District Competition.