Rotarian Karen Easton, right, welcomes Mary Nunz, Akiko Shiina and Sara Shiina during a recent Distinguished Student of Service ceremony at the golf course community room. Photo by Kurt Schoenberg
Los Alamos High School junior Sara Shiina was honored recently by the Rotary Club of Los Alamos as a Distinguished Student of Service. Shiina is the daughter of Akiko and Toshiyuki Shiina.
Each school year, the Rotary Club of Los Alamos selects nine high school juniors to honor as a Distinguished Student of Service. Juniors are recognized in hopes of inspiring their interest in Rotary programs that fall during the summer following junior year. Students are nominated by their teachers and chosen on the basis of their academic achievement, extra-curricular activities, and, in particular, their service to the community.
Shiina is involved in many community services, activities, and athletics and maintains a high GPA. She currently serves as the co-secretary of Key Club and is a member of the National Honor Society. In addition to being a Varsity swimmer on the LAHS team, Shiina is co-captain of the Charger Aquatics and a member of the LAHS Symphonic Strings Orchestra.
When asked about one of the challenges facing today’s youth, Shiina mentioned the expenses associated with taking exams at Los Alamos High School and the supplies required, stating in a Rotary essay that “a student, being unable to buy study materials to prepare for tests can be a serious un-equalizer for some students.” She has proposed a project to recycle study guides and test-prep books used for Advanced Placement (AP) exams, including SAT and ACT study materials, through a book resale.
The Key Club would take donated study guides and re-sell them to incoming AP students at lower prices. The profits would then be used to help offset the costs of exams and materials for students who are in need of financial assistance.
Shiina was recommended by AP Literature and Composition teacher Catherine Puranananda, who joined Shiina’s mother and close family friend ‘Grandma’ Mary Nunz at the Rotary luncheon.