Vidor duo win $5K scholarships in 18th Miriam Lutcher Stark Contest

Published 12:24 am Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

VIDOR — When it comes to Orange’s County best high school students in reading and declamation, Ashley Callahan and Triston Tinkle stand out in a talented crowd.

The Vidor High School duo earned first place awards this weekend, each receiving a $5,000 scholarship for their efforts.

For her Declamation, Callahan presented Close Your Eyes and Listen to the Silent Screams by Elie Wiesel. Tinkle’s reading was “Beethoven” by Shane Koyczan.

They were selected from a talented field to win the 2022 County Finals of the 118th Miriam Lutcher Stark Contest.

The Board of Directors and administrative staff of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation congratulated the winners.

Students who previously won first place at the various local level competitions held at each of the five Orange County public high schools competed Sunday in the categories of Declamation and Interpretive Reading at the County Finals at the Lutcher Theater.

Pictured, from left, are Shelby Eason, second place in interpretive reading; Triston Tinkle, first place in interpretive reading; Ashley Callahan, first place in declamation; and Sadie Prouse, second place in declamation. (Courtesy of STARK Cultural Venues)

Second place in Declamation went to Sadie Prouse of Orangefield High School for her delivery of the Shuttle “Challenger” Disaster Address by Ronald Reagan.

Orangefield High School’s Shelby Eason took second place in Interpretive Reading with her reading of “The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst.

Each second-place winner receives a $2,500 scholarship.

First- and second-place winners were presented with plaques.

Clyde V. McKee III, Stark Foundation President and CEO, presented all final contestants with commemorative watches, which is a long-held tradition of the Stark Reading Contest.

More than 115 students participated in the school levels of this year’s contest, which is sponsored by the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation.

“I want to congratulate the county winners, all local level winners, and all finalists for their outstanding accomplishments, as this year was a truly fantastic contest,” said Stark Reading Contest Coordinator, Hannah Danielson. “All participants, from the school preliminaries to the County Final, should be applauded for their hard work and effort. The time and work of the local school directors help make this contest possible.”

The support of Mason Franco (West Orange-Stark H.S.), Ron Chevalier (Orangefield H.S.), Melanie Claybar (Little Cypress-Mauriceville H.S.), Adam Conrad (Vidor H.S.) and Hannah Landry (Bridge City H.S.) was critical in making the program a success, according to Danielson.