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fabg slatterySlattery Family (from left) Christina, Cadhla, Hannah, Leah and Andy

Leah Slattery was named as the recipient of the 2018 Lee Strebel Memorial Award for Enthusiasm in the Performing Arts. Leah accepted the award at the Ithaca High School (I.H.S.) Underclassmen Awards Night, June 5, 2018 in I.H.S. Performing Arts Center's Kulp Auditorium. The Lee Strebel Memorial Award is presented each year to an I.H.S. 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 I.H.S. 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 Leah, noting, "From the first time I worked with Leah to now, Leah has always given 110% to all she does. She is dedicated and always totally committed. She is a role model and an inspiration to her peers and to younger students. A joy to work with!"

The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of 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 I.H.S. musical production, this year's Hairspray. Since 2006, past awardees include Emily Morse, Maddie Carroll, Ian Statema, James Slusar, Emily Scarpula, Sarah Skrovan, Laura McEnerney, Elias Spector-Zabusky, Haley Evanoski, Kasia Sendek, and Jameelia Ricks.

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