The Department of Iowa’s High School Oratorical Contest was held Sunday, February 16, 2020, the last day of Mid-Winter Conference. Three o u t s t a n d i n g contestants gave their all to a full room and panel of 5 judges. Each contestant gave a prepared oration lasting up to 10 minutes and then was assigned a 3-5 minute topic based on the US Constitution. While most in the audience and the Department would like to see all three advance, there can only be one. First place was awarded to William Fettkether of Dunkerton, Iowa. William is a Senior at Dunkerton High School. The title of his prepared oration is A Citizen’s Duty to Democracy which focused on the 12th Amendment, the Electoral College, duty upon every citizen of the US to vote. William is the son of Jon and Kim Fettkether. He will compete in the National Oratorical Contest on April 18th in Indianapolis for a chance to win a large scholarship of $20,000 and the title of champion. William is sponsored by Peter Kress American Legion Post #636 in Dunkerton. Congratulations William and best of luck. Runner up honors go to Britt Bowersox, a Junior at Xavier High School in Cedar Rapids. Britt is a resident of Swisher, Iowa and was sponsored by Swisher American Legion Post #671. Third place finish went to John Alex Baker, a Senior at Clarinda High School. Alex is a resident of Clarinda and was sponsored by Sergy American Legion Post #98 in Clarinda. In the history of the National Oratorical Contest, Iowa has had 3 champions: Jennifer Demmon (1986), Max Miller (2000), and most recently Patrick Junker (2019). In addition, only 3 states have ever had back to back champions: California (1946-47), Maryland (1988-89), and Missouri (2013-14). Should William advance and win the title, he and Iowa would be added to those ranks. This is not a means to add more pressure than is already placed on these students but interesting facts for our edification. Again, best of luck William and congratulations on the Department title. We wish to thank all the volunteers who have given their time from the local to Department contests. We are grateful for your involvement and hope you will consider participating again in the Fall. It isn’t too late to begin the conversation in your community regarding this program and contest. If you would like to follow along with National go to www. The Department plans to post each speech on the Oratorical page of the website early this summer.

Photo Left to Right: PNC and Foundation President David Rehbein, Oratorical Winner William Fettkether, and Department Commander James Kessler.