Feb. 12, 2013
Tribute gives star treatment to HPISD legend
La Fiesta honors Linda Raya by naming stage in her honor  
                                                                                                                                                                      photos by Kim Leeson
An audience full of students, alumni, parents, administrators, community members and family gathered in the Palmer Auditorium at Highland Park High School Feb. 2 to celebrate the 40-year career of beloved teacher and mentor Linda Raya. The tribute was conceived by HPHS parents Dina Jones Steele, a 1982 HP grad, and La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas President Rebecca Beasley. Their steering committee and a group of dedicated volunteers worked for nearly two years to put together the production and reception.
Additionally, they initiated the creation of a permanent endowment, the Linda Raya Fine Arts Endowment, to help provide funding for the arts in Highland Park schools for future generations.
The highlight of the program was a surprise announcement at the end of the tribute. After La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas made a significant donation to the HP Education Foundation's Tartan Endowment, their request to name the Palmer Auditorium stage was granted. HPISD Board of Trustees President Leslie Melson, members of the school board and Superintendent Dr. Dawson Orr proclaimed that the stage would be known now and forever as "The Linda Raya Stage."
The master of ceremonies for the evening was Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and HPHS alumnus Doug Wright. The event included performances by the HPHS Bagpipes and Drum Corps, the Lads and Lassies and Highlander Orchestra students, and a procession that literally showcased the many hats Raya has worn throughout her career. 
Click HERE to view a slideshow of the event.
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