A Non-Profit Corporation Supporting HPISD Arts Education ~ August 2015

Dear HP Arts Members and Supporters,


Whether you have a student who is a dedicated cellist or one whose focus is elsewhere - the arts will inform and enrich their daily lives in some way. They might be learning about metamorphosis in a classroom session with the "Butterfly Guy." Or simply marveling at the delicate artistry and strength of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge as they ride across it.


Our HPISD community strives for excellence in our schools. HP Arts is a proud partner in that endeavor by funding arts education for grades K-12. As you might expect, with assistance from HP Arts, HPISD teachers and students benefit by receiving updated equipment, musical instruments, or perhaps increasing their vocabulary through a Shakespeare Dallas performance. (Did you know Shakespeare coined over 1,700 new words?)   


HP Arts also welcomes requests from teachers who want to incorporate the arts in their classrooms in less conventional ways. Last fall our students participated in activities such as:


  • "Painting with Wool" in the elementary schools where students learned about the music and culture of the people of Mongolia and their ancient tradition of felting while creating a beautiful piece of art,



  • A discussion of "To Kill a Mockingbird" with the actress, Mary Badham, better known as "Scout", at the middle school, and
Mary Badham, who played "Scout" in the movie, "To Kill a Mockingbird".

  • Learning dances from around the world including Chinese and the northern Indian style, "Bollywood" at the high school.
Dance I classes learning the "Bollywood" style of dance.


With donations from HPISD families, plus a generous grant from La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas, HP Arts provided over $90,000 for educational arts programming and equipment. Support HP Arts again this year by donating online during the HPISD Back-to-School Sign-up or click here to donate on our website.


With gratitude,


Tish Key


2015-16 HP Arts President


HP Arts Linda Raya Scholarship Winners

Dr. Dawson Orr, Margaret Hall, Peter Sommers, Kay Braly, Amy Jent

Margaret Hall


HPMS Theater teacher, Susan McCormick and Margaret Hall share a love of theater and the musical, "The Sound of Plaid".  

The arts have been my focus throughout my middle school and high school years. I have been a member of the Choir for four years, Lads and Lassies during my junior and senior year, and Theater all four years. I have been fortunate to have Mrs. Raya as my Theater teacher, as she not only directs our plays, her ability to teach beyond the classroom has shaped my high school experience in a way that I will never ask or wish to change. She has taught me about teamwork, perseverance, humility, and how to be proud of doing the right thing.


My appreciation for the theater program at the high school has grown so much over the last year. I plan to study costume or fashion and the support I have received from Mrs. Raya and Mr. Eastland is far beyond what I ever expected. This year I have had the privilege of experiencing a small bit of what it is like to costume a show due to their trust in my ability. I do not think I will forget these two teachers solely for their confidence in saying, "We see what you want to do with your life, and we won't stop you from running with it."


Margaret Hall and Wallis Key in costume from the Senior Play.

This summer was busy with travel, camp, and just enough time to prepare for college. I will be attending Savannah College of Art and Design this fall. I am so grateful for the support of HP Arts and the priority of arts education in the Highland Park Independent School District.



Peter Sommers  


My love of the arts, especially theater, began in sixth grade when I was told, "No" during "Music Man Jr." rehearsals. I wanted to help backstage, but had to wait a year. By the end of 8th grade, I was hooked on Technical Theater.  


My freshman year was difficult. At the time, freshmen took Theater I and did not work backstage. I felt lost and my grades suffered. Beginning in my sophomore year, I was active in Technical Theater and joined the Highlander Band where I was in the color guard and played euphonium in the spring during concert season. Even though I was very busy with these activities, my grades improved!   


Peter Sommers performing the traditional Drum Dance along with senior bagpipers during Senior Night.

The fine arts have given me my best self. I am more adventurous for my fine arts experiences. During my high school years, I have taken ballet and Broadway dance classes and spent a summer traveling the country with the Crossmen, a World Class Drum and Bugle Corps. I was honored to perform the Drum Dance during Senior Night last fall. I took Art I as a senior where I had my first project, a clay sculpture, selected for the Highlander Festival. You can see it in the town of Highland Park's library.  


As a member of the 2014 Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps color guard, Peter Sommers performed in over 30 shows in 20 states.

This summer, I am once again traveling with the Crossmen as a member of the color guard. I will return home in time to head to Centenary College of Louisiana, where I will major in Theater Arts, with plans to be a set designer. Thank you, HP Arts, for everything you do to support the arts at Highland Park High School and throughout the district. The arts have changed my life for the better! 




Board of Directors 2015-16

Executive Committee

President - Tish Key

Vice President - Bebe Triplett

Secretary - Reva Knight Henderson

Treasurer - Katherine Schultz

Programs Chair - Dana Manley

Publicity Chair - Brandi Sarfatis


Committee Chairs

Arrangements - Beth Susens and Robyn Galerston*

Artisan - Wylly Goodson

Membership - Molly Pieroni*

Play-It-Again-Sam - Kathleen Whalen*

Publicity Assistants - Wendy Kumpf and Stacey Cochran*

Social Media - Amy Camp*

Special Events - Margaret Napier* and Jodi Perdue* 

Student Art Coordinator - Pam Adams

Take-A-Seat - Sue Sanford*

Website - Leslie Kibby*


Programs Committee - School Representatives

Armstrong - Kathy Gameros

Bradfield - Beth Newton

Hyer - Rachel Blaylock

UP - Carrie Ellen Adamian*

HPMS/MIS - Tracy Bundy

HPHS - Karen Walters


*New Members


New members L-R include: Margaret Napier, Kathleen Whalen, Molly Pieroni, Amy Camp, Leslie Kibby, Jodi Perdue, Not pictured: Robyn Galerston, Stacey Cochran, Carrie Ellen Adamian, Sue Sandford