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LCF teen selected to advise school district

Dahlia Kaki, of La Cañada High School, will provide a student's perspective.

September 12, 2013|By Sara Cardine
  • La Cañada Unified School District Board student representative Dahlia Kaki, 17 of La Cañada Flintridge, on the La Cañada High School campus on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013.
La Cañada Unified School District Board student… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

When it comes to the operation of local schools, arguably no one in the community pulls as much weight as the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board. From budgeting to the approval of field trips, school board members routinely make decisions that affect the lives of thousands of students.

But for all their influence, board members don’t always get direct feedback from students unless they have children in the district. To gain perspective on how agenda items connect to the living, breathing populace, each year the board invites a high school student representative to join its ranks.

This year’s student representative is senior Dahlia Kaki, a 17-year-old La Cañada High water polo player and co-president of the Athletic Leadership Council.

Student reps are selected through a rigorous application and interview process, according to Associated Student Body adviser Bill Lively, who waded through resumes and letters of intent alongside LCHS Principal Ian McFeat. The competition was stiff, he said, but Dahlia was a clear winner.

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“In a school characterized by the phenomenal accomplishments of its student body, Dahlia outshines even the brightest of stars,” Lively said in an email interview. “She is literally the very best that this city has to offer.”

There’s no doubt Dahlia sparkles on the page — in addition to being a student leader and ASB board rep, she regularly volunteers at Pasadena’s Door of Hope, a Christian organization that provides transitional services to local homeless families. She’s trilingual (English, Arabic and French), thanks to father Said and mother Rym, who both hail from Tunisia. She lived and attended school there for two years before returning to the States, studying at the Lycee International de Los Angeles in Los Feliz and eventually entering LCHS as an eighth-grader.

“I’ve moved back and forth,” she said, “(but) out of all the places I’ve been to, there hasn’t been a community that’s as involved as La Cañada.”

Dahlia maintains a 4.8 grade point average, is juggling advanced placement classes in biology, psychology, calculus and economics with an English 1A class at Pasadena City College, and works as a teacher’s assistant during her free period. Last year, she interned at JPL.

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