top of page

1st place wins $250 in Essay and Oratorical Contests

The 1st Annual Shirley A. Justice Memorial Essay Contest and

1st Annual Dr. George F. McKerley Memorial Oratorical Contest seek entrants

Calhoun County students in grades 5 through 12 have an opportunity to express their opinion on a timely topic – and win a cash prize. The Jim and Shirley Justice Center and the Calhoun County Democrats seek entries for two contests – Essay and Oratorical. Each contest is open to students in grades 5 thru 12 living in Calhoun County as well as surrounding counties including Cherokee, Cleburne, Etowah, St. Clair, and Talladega Counties. Home-schooled students are also encouraged to apply.

February 15, 2022 is the deadline to receive applications and essays for the essay contest and applications for the oratorical contest. The oratorical contest will be held on February 24th, 6:30 pm, at the Jim and Shirley Justice Center, 812 Noble Street, Anniston, AL 36201. First, second and third place winners of each contest receive cash awards and a certificate. Winners of both the Essay contest and winners of the Oratorical contest will receive their prizes on February 24th, following the Oratorical contest. A reception will be held after the program.

Each competition honors a Calhoun County Citizen who had a special interest in promoting citizenship and support for their community.

Shirley Justice, who is now deceased, and her husband, Jim Justice, talked often about leaving a legacy in their community which would encourage and develop citizenship, political knowledge and involvement of all citizens. The Jim & Shirley Justice Center located in Anniston, AL, stands today as proof of their dedication and generosity.

The Oratorical Competition recognizes the late Dr. George McKerley. While Dr. McKerley had a soft spot in his heart for dogs and cats, he also knew the value of a strong education and speaking skills for children of all ages. This competition recognizes the much loved and sorely missed Dr. George McKerley.

For more information contact: Essay Chair Sandy Stewart at; 256-282-1435 or Oratorical Chair Jim Williams at; 256-225-3370. Information, rules, and application forms for both contests will soon be available at


bottom of page