Connor Malinger and Sarah Kawakami-Williams Elected Mr. & Miss HBA 2022
Tammy Brownfield

Seniors Connor Malinger and Sarah Kawakami-Williams have been elected the 2022 Mr. and Miss HBA.  The award, which is the school's highest honor, recognizes one male and one female senior who typify the best in HBA students, including their contributions to school life through leadership, extracurricular activities, and their character.  The award was established in 1955 and has continued to be a cherished tradition, with the winners being elected by their peers.

Connor Malinger has been described as a hard worker with patient consistency and mental toughness.  The same fortitude that he has demonstrated in cross country, he has displayed in the classroom.  He started the HBA Business Club because of his interests in finance and entrepreneurship.  He has been a key contributor to the Eagle Eye and helped HBA win state titles in journalism.  He also was part of the beloved Morning Announcements, broadcasting institutional news with the clarity and soothing demeanor of a 17 year old Walter Kronkite.  Though he's a good runner and student, Connor's most admirable quality has been described as his life of faith.  

"In humility, Connor often seeks out the counsel of older and more mature Christians.  He has a deep love of the Holy Scriptures and seeks to serve others and minister the truth of the Gospel to all he encounters," said HBA High School English Teacher, Dawson Vorderbruegge.  "His faith is not a loud faith, but neither was our Lord's.  Though it is a quiet faith, it is a faith that is full of life--and that colors all Connor sees."

Sarah Kawakami-Williams was already on the path to success in the ninth grade. She was winning academic awards while competing in volleyball, and building her resume of service.  Despite suffering a serious concussion that changed her life, she pressed on and grew empathy for others who struggled, gratitude for those who helped her, and God-given fearlessness that her worth was not in her performance.  As hardship hit everyone with the COVID-19 pandemic, Sarah set out to lead the National Honor Society as President.  She built service and leadership opportunities while online and her positive communication set high standards even in tough circumstances.  For two years now, Sarah and her team have empowered committees that have raised money for charities, encouraged the elderly, tutored middle school students, hosted math break out rooms, community service projects, and more. 

"If you've been on a team with Sarah in a class, in NHS, in the Japan American Society video project, or the Japan Wizards Contest that she captained to a third place victory, you will recall how she always reminds us to be positive and do our best, because we are already loved and given worth by God, and He calls us to serve and love others," says Lynne Nakano, HBA High School Teacher. 

Congratulations again to Connor and Sarah for your hard work and achievements!