Two Lindale High School students win regional speech contest


Two Lindale High School students will get the opportunity to talk their way into a big scholarship check. The annual Texas Association of Pupil Transportation (TAPT) School Bus Safety Speech Contest was held Wednesday. Hannah Sanders represented Lindale in the freshman competition. Sophomore Mary Gray won her grade level and Logan Herrera took home top honors in the senior contest. Gray and Herrera will advance to the state competition.

The contest is designed to not only promote academic achievement, but to make high school students aware of the importance of school bus safety. This year, students were required to prepare a four to six minute speech discussing “What makes my school bus seven times safer than other passenger vehicles?”

“A lot of people think a speech about school bus safety is a little different,” Lindale High School Speech and Debate Coach Rory McKenzie said. “But TAPT does a great job of varying up the topics each year and really forces contestants to deeply analyze how students are transported to and from school, even for extracurricular activities.”

Lindale has been competing in the contest nearly every year since it began more than a decade ago. In fact, this is not Herrera’s first trip to state. He placed third among the juniors last year at the state level.

“The Bus Safety Oration Contest is an excellent opportunity to hone my skills in the arena of public address,” said Herrera. ”I am very grateful for the potential scholarships, and I am always impressed by the kindness of every educator and bus safety administrator involved in the competition.”

“As coaches, we really try to look out for these scholarship opportunities so that it reinforces to our students the value of post-secondary education,” McKenzie said. “We figure any little bit counts when it comes to trying to pay for college.”

Herrera and Gray both took home a $50 check. They will compete in April at the state meet in Waco for the chance to win up to one thousand dollars in scholarship money.