2019 Lee Strebel Award Winner Named, Congrats Raia Gutman

large_Lee Strebel 2019 Award Winner Raia Gutman with IHS Drama Teacher Lorraine Tino _.JPG Raia Gutman was named as the recipient of the 2019 Lee Strebel Memorial Award for Enthusiasm in the Performing Arts. Raia accepted the award at the Ithaca High School (IHS) Underclassmen Awards Night, June 4, 2019 in IHS Performing Arts Center’s Kulp Auditorium. The Lee Strebel Memorial Award is presented each year to an IHS student who has not only participated in performing arts at the high school level, but has shown extraordinary spirit in that pursuit.

The award is given in loving memory of Lee Strebel, an IHS student who died suddenly during his freshman year in February 2006. In his short time at the high school, Lee became a standout in the drama department after playing the leading role of George Gibbs in Our Town. “Lee was a promising young actor to be sure, but what made him so well-loved was his constant smile, great work ethic, support for his peers and an unshakeable positive mental attitude. It is hoped that the recipient of this award will continue to demonstrate many of the same attributes, and recognize that although skills may be handed out in various amounts, our attitude and effort are completely under our control,” notes the Strebel family.

Ithaca High School Drama teacher Lorraine Tino praised Raia, noting, “Raia Gutman is just finishing her 9th grade year at IHS and she already distinguished herself as an important member of our theater community. She approaches every acting role with commitment whether the role is large or small. She has taken a leadership role by serving on our show selection committee which has the important task of furthering student voice and choice in our program. Raia is intelligent, hardworking, and positive.”

The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), works with the high school drama staff and the Strebel family to present this award. The award is made possible due to a grant from the Community Foundation of Tompkins County’s Strebel Fund for Community Enrichment. The Strebel Fund also supports the IHS musical production, this year’s Rent. Since 2006, past Lee Strebel Memorial awardees include Emily Morse, Maddie Carroll, Ian Statema, James Slusar, Emily Scarpula, Sarah Skrovan, Laura McEnerney, Elias Spector-Zabusky, Haley Evanoski, Kasia Sendek, Jameelia Ricks, and Leah Slattery.

IPEI is a community based not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that develops supportive community and private sector relationships with the Ithaca City School District (ICSD). Founded in 1996, IPEI is committed to connecting school and community through collaboration, engagement, gifts and grants. For more information, see www.ipei.org or contact 256-IPEI (4734) or ipei@ipei.org.

FABG works in partnership with the ICSD to support and celebrate all the arts for all the kids. For more information about the boosters, visit www.fabgithaca.org and about the Community Foundation http://www.cftompkins.org.