The crown fits.
Sarah Ann Settles celebrated her 17th birthday last month with great fanfare: At the La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce’s 105th Installation and Awards Gala, she was named 2017 Miss LCF — a dream come true for a girl who grew up being inspired by members of past LCF Royal Courts.
“I distinctly remember going to Breakfast in the Park, waking up and being really excited to go and meet the princesses!” said Settles, a junior at LCHS. “I remember getting my face painted by them — that was always the highlight.”
All true, said her older sister, Shannon.
“We’d always go to Fiesta Days or to the snow in the park, and I’d say, ‘Guys, let’s get food,’ or, ‘Look, there’s animals!’ and she would always, always, without relent, say, ‘Mom! I have to go meet all of the princesses!’”
So when Sarah Ann heard the school announcement calling for candidates to join LCF’s royal court, of course she applied. She was not, however, expecting to be the one wearing the Miss LCF sash to Chamber mixers and other community events for the next 12 months.
“I told myself, whether or not I get queen, being a princess is such an amazing opportunity and any of these girls are overqualified to be queen,” Settles said. “I’ll be happy, any way it goes.”
She said she’s known the other four formidable young women on the court — Julie Lauenstein, Sara Kahn, Reagan Meyer and Holly Stoner — since they were children.
Together, they’ll serve as representatives of their city, a responsibility Settles said she relishes.
“There’s something so special about the atmosphere of La Cañada Flintridge,” she said, smiling widely. “It goes back to old-town America. The sense of community we have is so special and I think a lot of times in America, people are losing that bond with your neighbors.”
Like her fellow princesses, Settles is an accomplished, busy teen: She’s a participant in ASB, the school choir and the district’s new Challenge Success initiative; she’s juggling three challenging advanced-placement classes (including her favorite, U.S. history).
She’s also a member of the varsity tennis team — which has proved especially royal this year. Rose Court Princess Natalie Petrosian was a teammate of Settles, causing coach Will Moravec to joke that he might need to invest in a tiara case.
“I’ve always been super-inspired by how she wants to be able to get involved in everything,” sister Shannon Settles said. “I love how she always has that glimmer in her eyes to do everything.”
Especially, Miss LCF said, when it has to do with kids.
As a member of the National Charity League, she’s had an opportunity to tutor less-fortunate youngsters from Los Angeles through the Hathaway-Sycamores program: “The kids are so bright and I feel like a lot of times, they don’t have the opportunity that a lot of people in La Cañada Flintridge have, and being able to work with them and help them see how bright they are, it’s awesome.”
She’s also taught tennis at the Spartan All-Star Sports Camp and serves as a volunteer leader with CLUB 56, a youth program for 5th- and 6th-graders at La Cañada Presbyterian Church.
And now she eagerly awaits the opportunity to inspire in her role as Miss LCF.
“Now I am the person they are looking up to!” she said. “It’s great to be a role model, to have integrity, to be an active person in your community, to reach out to people in a meaningful way.
“And I’m excited to paint their faces, too.”