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Posted on Jan 13, 2017

High school phenom exceeds expectation on stage and off

High school phenom exceeds expectation on stage and off

By Joel Waldinger, Wisconsin Public Television

In many ways Zaria Roller is a typical Wisconsin teenager who enjoys her friends, a good laugh and checking out social media. But that is where the typical teenager title ends.

Zaria’s mother, Emida Roller, knew from the moment Zaria arrived that she was going to be special. Her father Steve Roller saw it too.

“She’s had it since she was little. I think she wanted to succeed. It was a natural thing for her,” Steve said. “When she was four years old, she got involved in community theater.”

The theater was the perfect outlet for Zaria’s talents and she continued to improve as she grew older. When she was only 12 years old she successfully auditioned for the lead role of Gabriella in  the Verona Area Community Theater’s edition of “High School Musical Junior”. Zaria and the rest of the cast practiced for months to master their lines, dance steps and songs.

In addition to standing out on stage, Zaria is also a star in the classroom. She is a straight “A” student at Verona’s High School Exploration Academy. As a freshman she is two full years ahead of other kids her age. Emida remembers Zaria’s academic ability emerging at a young age. Read more …