NAHS Commemorates Life of Linda Stevenson

“All the world’s a stage,/And all the men and women merely players:/They have their exits and their entrances; – William Shakespeare, “As You Like It,” Act II, Scene VII

Teacher. Leader. Advocate for Youth. Enthusiast for the Dramatic Arts. Linda Stevenson took on all these roles and many others during her time on the stage of life.

The North Atlanta High School community came together on Feb. 19 to mourn the death and celebrate the life of Stevenson, a longtime theater arts instructor. She died on Feb. 13 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

The ceremony to honor was held in the school’s theater and Principal Howard Eugene Taylor led the event that featured readings and songs from Stevenson’s students and former students, a piano performance and a tribute song-and-dance number from colleagues, testimonies from parents, and a performance by the NAHS Chamber Orchestra.

Stevenson was a teacher for 27 years total. From 1987 to 2002, she taught at Redan High School in Dekalb County. From, 2003 up to this academic year, she taught at NAHS. She received Teacher of the Year honors at both schools.

At the Feb. 19 ceremony, testimony from Leah Young, NAHS class of 2006, typified the degree of inspiration that Stevenson created. “Ms. Stevenson, thank you for being a teacher, a speaker of life, a terrific God-fearing example, a parent, and a friend. Thank you for making your classroom the highlight of my high school career, my home. I will always cherish you and live my life with the virtues you have instilled. You will forever be missed and forever loved and forever adored.”

Stevenson was raised in Mobile, Alabama, and attended college at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she received a bachelor’s degree in speech and theater. It was at Southern University that she started her lifelong affiliation with her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta.

Her first jobs out of college were working in the broadcast industry for TV stations in Mobile. She came to Atlanta in 1974 and held jobs in the banking industry. Her love for youth and for theater compelled her to switch careers and go into teaching, a path she took during the 1980s.

Beyond teaching at Redan and NAHS, she served as a master Teacher for the Alliance Theatre and Adjudicator for the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program. As a result of her leadership, she developed collaborative relationships for North Atlanta with the Fox Theatre, the Alliance Theatre, and Oglethorpe University, which provided learning opportunities for the many students that she loved so dearly.

She was affiliated with numerous arts and educational organizations in the Atlanta Metropolitan area and received a grant from Teach One, Reach One, which enabled her to travel to Ghana. She was also a Founding Board member for the Utopian Academy for the Arts, a new state approved charter school in Clayton County, Georgia.