Young La Cañada artists advance to state level of PTA Council's Reflections competition

The creative talents of a junior high poet, a high school photographer and an elementary school composer are taking the students to the state level of the annual PTA Reflections competition.

The three are Noah Trong, a La Cañada Elementary School fourth-grader who composed an instrumental on piano about nature; Alex Zhao, an eighth-grader at La Cañada High School 7/8 whose winning entry also captured his love of nature; and LCHS photographer John Clinton Cooper, whose winning photo featured a striking image of a bird in Oahu.

PHOTOS: La Cañada PTA Council's Reflections Program reception and awards ceremony

The trio, along with 70 other La Cañada Unified School District competitors, were recognized for their efforts during last Thursday's La Cañada PTA Council's Reflections reception in the district board room.

Altogether, the council recognized 73 winners and 11 district-level winners in six categories: photography, film and video, literature, music composition, dance choreography and visual arts. Winners of the competition were presented with gold, silver, bronze or honorable mention awards.

PTA Council President Pam Knapp welcomed the more than 200 in attendance who enjoyed hors d'oeuvres prior to the awards ceremony. Knapp credited Christine Chant, who chaired the event, for her dedication to the project.

“Every year I'm so amazed at how talented our district's students are,” Chant said.

Serving as judges were Lisa Curtis, Gayle Nicholls, Kim Meyers, Juli Barry, Charlotte Maya and Rene Phills. School principals were in attendance to show support for their students' accomplishments.

“I think there's nothing greater than creativity,” said La Cañada High School principal Ian McFeat.

While educators credited the Reflections program for creating a balance in students' lives, Supt. Wendy Sinnette said participation in creative arts also pays off in direct educational terms.

“Students grow in math,” Sinnette said. “They grow in their executive order thinking skills. They grow in their verbal skills. All of those things are enhanced through participation in the arts.”

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