Through a short family history she wrote a year ago, the late Marina Davis spoke to an audience of more than 500 people gathered in her honor May 18.

Through a short family history she wrote a year ago, the late Marina Davis spoke to an audience of more than 500 people gathered in her honor May 18.

"I wonder what the world will be like for my grandchildren," Scioto High School reading teacher Diane Sayre said, reading from Davis' story. "My hope for them is that they not have to live by rules that don't make any sense, that they always have hope, that they always feel supported and willing to give to others."

If there was a theme for the night, in which Dublin school officials renamed the high school's performing arts center as the Marina Davis Performing Arts Center, it focused on how Davis gave to others and was a strong advocate for her students. The longtime Scioto principal died in December of a stroke.

"We miss her dearly," Superintendent David Axner said. "Why name the performing arts center after Marina? I think there are a few reasons. We pretty much know she loved the arts."

Davis was the guiding force behind having the arts center built at the high school, Axner said. It opened in 1999, four years after she became the school's first principal.

The superintendent praised Davis' tireless work in helping make Scioto one of the best high schools in the nation.

And to the applause of the people gathered in the performing arts center, including Davis' daughter, Marisa, and her family, Axner announced that Davis had won this year's National Administrator Award from the Educational Theater Association.

The award will be presented in June. She previously was named winner of the state award.

"I know in her acceptance speech, she would have talked about the kids," Axner said.

Senior class president Suraj Hinduja spoke of Davis' love for the students and that he knew she was watching from above as a constant supporter for students past and present.

"She taught us it was OK to stand up for what we thought was right," Hinduja said.

It was a student project that inspired Davis to write her family history, noting that she was the first woman in her Italian-American family to graduate from college.

Sayre and Scioto English teacher Dennis Rogers said Rogers became involved in a project called "Story Box" two years ago. The idea was for students to write a story about anything that interested them and those stories then would be collected and sent to friends and colleagues throughout the country and the world who also would contribute stories.

Davis took an interest and wrote her story, Sayre said. She even read the story to the faculty at Scioto. The "Story Box" from Scioto traveled to Ireland and elsewhere in the world and arrived back at the school in April. "Ms. Davis was an enthusiastic supporter" of the project, Sayre said.

Her influence with the students was evident by a display of student artwork in the foyer of the performing arts center. The theme was inspired by Davis wearing high heels throughout her career.

One exhibit, a drawing that displayed three angles of a high-heel shoe, stated: "Always Remembered. She walks tall and strong, seeking to help others. And never forgotten."