LH Rotary recognizes outstanding fine arts students

By Jane Williams
La Habra Journal

In December the La Habra Rotary Club was delighted to meet the seniors from the three high schools who have distinguished themselves in the fine arts.

The La Habra Rotary Club honored Susan Lopez from Sonora High School, Bryan Connolly from La Habra High School and Samantha Gainer from Whittier Christian High School.

Sonora chose Susan Lopez, the Raider Marching band’s drum major. Sonora Principal Dr. Adam Bailey said Lopez is outstanding and that has even been kind enough to occasionally bang the drum. Lopez plans to attend Pasadena City College to fulfill one of her long-held goals to march in the Rose Parade.

Lopez’s long-term plan is to become a medical doctor.

La Habra High School theater student Bryan Connolly, a Fullerton resident,  joined the Fullerton Children’s Repertory in junior high school. He had his first parts in “The Music Man” and “Fiddler on the Roof” and also learned techniques of producing stage plays.

In the summer after “Fiddler on the Roof” he joined other Fullerton Repertory participants putting together musical numbers and flew to the United Kingdom to perform with groups over 10 days in Edinburgh, York and London. When he returned to school he was cast as Fagin in “Oliver!”.

At LHHS he tried out for and  is part of the Theatre Guild’s improvisational team where he continues to perform.

He hopes to attend UC San Diego or George Washington University. At either school he plans to major in macroeconomics or international relations on his way to law school. He wants to eventually become a defense attorney.

The star of the Rotary lunch was Samantha Gainer, this year’s Whittier Christian Homecoming Queen. Who is called Sami by friends and teachers.

As a freshman she was lead dancer in “Godspell”, acted as Rumpletezier in “Cats” and was named Freshman of the Year. As a sophomore she was lead dancer in “Singing in the Rain”.

She has earned dance awards where she was named Outstanding Student, Show Stopper Song and was named part of the Best Ensemble.  She was also named Most Inspirational, Most Likely to Go Pro, Best Leaps, and also Class Clown.

When it was time for her to speak, she let her star power shine with a medley of songs from musicals she performed during high school.

The La Habra Rotary Club recognizes one student from each of the city’s high schools at its monthly meeting.

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.