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Teen Face: Gifted Santa Rosa High senior full of talent, energy

  • Zora Franicevic at Sunce Winery in Santa Rosa. (KENT PORTER/ PD)

With all of the activities that Zora Franicevic packs into one day, there is little time for sleep. And that's just fine by her.

The Santa Rosa High School senior's school day starts at 7 a.m., and she is rarely home before 6 p.m. Then there is homework and sending off college applications to most of the Ivy League.

“It's hard to get sleep sometimes,” said Franicevic, 17. “Everything I do is equally important to me. It would harm me to not do one of them. I need all of those different things to thrive.”

Her interests and talents range from the musical and artistic to the political, academic and athletic.

A gifted musician and singer, Franicevic has played concert piano since the age of 8. As an ArtQuest student at Santa Rosa High School, her schedule includes chamber singing and choir sprinkled around advanced placement calculus and biology and classes at Santa Rosa Junior College.

“Music is very important to me,” she said. “It's what motivates me to get up in the morning and puts a smile on my face.” Franicevic is also a skilled actor and takes daily drama and production classes. Her community theater appearances include “Elephant Man,” “Les Miserables” and “Rent.”

“Zora pursues her talent with upmost sincerity and enthusiasm,” said Bethany Neese, her private voice teacher of five years. “She brings this gusto of motivation with into her lessons and often has the entire lesson planned out before she arrives. She knows what she wants to achieve and is always eager to learn.”

Her proudest stage accomplishment came at age 15 when she portrayed animal rights activist Hope Bohanec in a production of “Civil Disobedience,” for which she was also music director.

The experience opened her eyes to the world of social and environmental justice. She delved into the Occupy movement and became politically active, campaigning for Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch, heading her school's climate protection club and participating on the debate team.

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