PHS Princess makes waves in Tennessee
By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist
“Hollie’s here!” PHS Theatre Teacher Jamie Stephenson announced.
My fourth period class fell silent as they gazed at Stephenson and Pelham High School 2008 alum grinning at my classroom door.
Arriving with a stage presence that quieted my most social class—at least for a few minutes—Tkacik sparkled with happiness.
Always hard working and hard on herself, Hollie Tkacik was a bright light at Pelham High School.
Her commitment to perfection culminated in numerous high school awards that landed her a scholarship at the University of Alabama, where she took to the stage wowing Tuscaloosa.
Performing at a variety of venues in route, Tkacik is now working at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
When Stephenson attended Tkacik’s show at Dollywood last month, she was impressed, not only by Tkacik’s performance, but also by her former student’s notoriety in the park.
When someone asked Stephenson how she knew Tkacik, Stephenson said, “I was her teacher.”
“You taught the princess of Dollywood!” Tkacik’s fan exclaimed.
Tkacik was our PHS Princess first, but she never knew it. Always humble and encouraging to others, this young actress worked tirelessly at her craft and her studies.
“Mrs. Stephenson taught us that we had to earn our place on the stage. She taught us to be hard-workers,” Tkacik said. “PHS gave me the foundation I needed—and Mrs. Stephenson gave me the theatre program that prepared me.”
Tkacik has enjoyed amazing experiences since graduating from PHS. Starring with other young performers at Dollywood shows has been exciting. Tkacik even sang with Dolly Parton on stage.
“Dolly Parton is just like she seems—very real, seriously down-to-earth and incredibly talented. Singing with her was a treat,” Tkacik said.
Glad to have vacation time with her family, Tkacik will soon be back in Tennessee, where tentative plans for her new season at Dollywood include starring in a musical variety show as the female lead with two male singers and a five-piece band at The Back Porch Theater.
To enjoy Hollie Tkacik’s talent, a drive to Tennessee will be entirely worthwhile.