04/23/06 — Student is doing well at contest

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Student is doing well at contest

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on April 23, 2006 2:02 AM

Wayne Christian High School freshman Terrie Nelson will go for the gold today in a national oratorical contest.

Miss Nelson, 15, is one of the final three to vie for first place today in the national American Legion Oratorical Contest in Minneapolis, Minn.

She is guaranteed to receive at least $14,000 in college scholarshio money. The first-place winner receives an $18,000 scholarship to college. Second place brings $16,000, and third place brings $14,000.

"The worst she can do is come in third place," said Roy Jones, historian and chaplain for Goldsboro's American Legion Post 11. The Legion sponors the competition each year for high school students.

He said Miss Nelson is the first contestant from North Carolina to become one of the final three. A boy last year was the regional winner, and he went to the finals, but he didn't make it to the final three, Jones said.

"She is the first freshman in 69 years from North Carolina to go to the finals," he said.

At the district competition, Miss Nelson went up against students who were older and more experienced, but she came away with the title.

Her mother, Barbara, is a teacher at Wayne Christian.

Mrs. Nelson is an experienced coach of young speakers in the contest. She coached the daughter of a friend in Virginia who finished third at the national event.

The Nelson family has lived in Wayne County since August. Her father, Ricky, is in the military.