Fourteen seniors represented Grantsville High School in the 52nd annual Wasatch Front Sterling Scholar competition.
The Sterling Scholar Awards are sponsored by the Deseret News and KSL 5 Television. The program publicly recognizes high school seniors from 68 high schools along the Wasatch Front in 13 different categories for outstanding academics, stellar leadership, exemplary citizenship and exceptional service to school and community. Every Sterling Scholar must complete a portfolio documenting their academic achievements, leadership and service.
With the growth in the number of high schools participating in the competition, a new level of judging was instituted this year for the first time. In the first round, students were judged solely on the basis of their portfolios. Next, they were personally interviewed at the semi-final competition by a panel of three judges who are experts in the various categories.
Finally, 15 finalists in each category were selected to move on in the competition. The finalists again competed with their portfolios and another interview with three new judges. A winner and two runners-up in each category were announced at the Sterling Scholar Award ceremony, which was held at Cottonwood High School in March.
Shelbie Brown: Family and Consumer Sciences
Shelbie Brown is the daughter of Loree Manzanares and Justin Reece. She has been very involved in many activities at Grantsville High School. Brown has been a member of the girls’ tennis and golf team. She is a member of the National Honors Society, yearbook staff, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, and is currently the senior class secretary. Brown has enjoyed the family and consumer sciences classes she has taken at GHS. She is currently doing an internship at Willow Elementary. Brown participates in many community service projects. She has recently completed her medical assisting certification and plans on attending Snow College in the fall to complete her generals. She will then go to the University of Utah to earn her bachelor’s degree in pre-medicine. She plans on pursing her dream and receiving her master’s degree in pediatric medicine, specializing in emergency pediatrics. Her current GPA is 3.6 and she scored a 21 on the ACT.
Teasha Carson: Social Sciences
Teasha Carson is the daughter of Tricia and James Carson. Her GPA is 3.5 and she scored a 24 on the ACT. Carson is a member of the mock trial team and competes in Model UN. She was also a member of the marching and pep band for three years. She considers this award a great stepping stone in her life. She struggled with a short-term memory problem that made it difficult for her to read when she was younger and spent three years in resource classes. The most important thing to her is her family. She would like to thank all of her friends, family and teachers for pushing her to do her best. Without them, she wouldn’t be a sterling scholar. Carson’s biggest goal in life is to help people. She volunteers in her mom’s second grade class and loves working with kids. Carson loves the psychology field and hopes to work as a forensic psychologist for the government. She has taken the forensic class offered at the Community Learning Center and is currently taking an AP psychology class. Carson loves learning and seeing new places. One day she hopes to study abroad in England, France or Germany.
Jamie Chapman: English
Jamie Chapman is the daughter of Randy and Wendy Chapman. Yes, this thin figure is 18 and on her way to graduation. Don’t let her size fool you. Chapman is full of life and has a unique personality. She has grown over the years as she became more and more involved in school. She’s been a member of Key Club and Boite Vocale (the school’s regular choir) since 2009, and Art Club and Book Club since 2011. Now she is a member of the NHS, historian for the Book Club and Boite Vocale’s party planner. She is also in GHS’s production of “Phantom of the Opera.” She has been involved in all of the honors English classes since her freshman year of high school and is thrilled to be a representative for GHS as a sterling scholar. One of her greatest accomplishments is when she placed third in the literature test at English Quest 2011-2012. While there, she was able to meet others from different schools and prove to herself and others that you don’t have to settle for mediocrity. She has a heavy class load because she firmly believes that you should finish what you start. Pushing forward, she’s taking both concurrent and AP classes as well as taking a class online. She was recently able to earn her young womanhood recognition award through her church. She is currently holding her GPA at a steady 3.9 and scored a 30 on the ACT. Chapman looks forward to continuing her education at Dixie State University this fall.
Anna Christensen: General
Anna Christensen has a cumulative GPA of 4.0 and an ACT composite of 25. She plans on attending a four-year university starting in the fall of 2013. She just needs to decide where, as she is applying both in state and out of state. Christensen’s career goals include working in an international setting in an organizational role. She wants to be a part of a corporation focused on humanitarian aide. She has participated with Interact, which is a youth branch of Rotary International, since her sophomore year and is currently serving as Tooele County club president and as an Interact district youth officer for the state of Utah. Christensen has served in many leadership positions during her high school years. She was junior class president, NHS treasurer and president of the dance company this year. She served as vice president last year. Christensen has competed on the GHS volleyball team since her freshman year and lettered for three years. She was captain of the junior varsity team her junior year and is currently captain of the varsity team. She has participated in humanitarian aide in her community, Mexico and Costa Rica. She was awarded the Star Alumni Award while in Costa Rica for her outstanding leadership and service. Christensen is extremely goal-oriented and hard working and has a variety of interests. She set a goal to maintain a 4.0 GPA while being involved in many activities and has reached her goal.
Beth Coles: Visual Arts
Beth Coles is the daughter of Lisa and Clay Coles. Her main art medium is photography. She started photography when she joined the yearbook staff her freshman year of high school. The next year, she advanced to editor in chief, a position that had always been held by a senior. In addition to yearbook, Coles has also been student body historian and a member of Key Club, NHS, Skills USA and Health Occupations Students of America. She has maintained a 3.99 GPA and she scored a 27 on the ACT all while staying involved in school and working a part-time job five days a week. After high school, Coles has plans of furthering her education by obtaining her associate’s degree in science at Snow College. She then hopes to advance to Weber State University and ultimately become a registered nurse.
Sahale Cox: Science
Sahale Cox is the daughter of Seth and Tamra Cox. She has been involved in the GHS Ballroom Company, NHS, Key Club, Future Farmers of America and several musical productions. She is currently Ballroom Company co-president. She is very active in Tooele County 4-H, where she raised turkeys, showed horses and sewed clothes. She served as the president of the Tooele County 4-H Teen Council for a year. She has received the Superintendent Award every year and has always been on the honor roll. She has taken many honors classes, concurrent enrollment classes and AP classes. She plans to attend Brigham Young University, University of Utah or Utah State University this fall. She is currently unsure as she has been accepted to all three. She will major in civil and environmental engineering. She has received the Honors at Entrance Scholarship from the University of Utah and the Dean’s Scholarship from Utah State University. She has also received the Amy Kearsley 4-H Scholarship, Elks National Foundation MVS Scholarship and Utah Jr. Turkey Show Scholarship.
Carlie Hughes: Music
Carlie Hughes is the daughter of Lynette and David Hughes. She has a cumulative GPA of 3.986 and her composite ACT is 25. Hughes plans on attending BYU in the fall and will pursue a degree in music. She plans on becoming a private violin teacher and would love to play for the Orchestra at Temple Square. Hughes also plans on participating in a study abroad program while at BYU. She has participated in band and choir at GHS. She received two “one minus” scores and two “one” scores at solo and ensemble state competitions from 2010 to 2013 ( one is the highest score). Since 2007, she has played in the Utah Youth Ensembles. She spent one year in the junior orchestra and the rest in the philharmonic symphony and orchestra. She has been taking private violin lessons from Ralph Matson, the concertmaster of the Utah Symphony, since 2010. Hughes has been teaching private violin lessons since 2010. Anyone who knows her knows that music is a way of life. She was elected to serve her district for the 2012-2013 Utah-Idaho Key Club as governor. Hughes has also been a member of NHS and has taken AP and concurrent enrollment classes at GHS.
Devin Orgill: Business and Marketing
Devin Orgill is the son of Brad and Nicole Orgill and Jeanell and Richard Mouritsen. He loves his business classes, especially his accounting class. He has been determined and set on becoming an accountant since the end of his junior year. He has always been top of his class in accounting and has a natural ability and love for it. Orgill is also a great athlete. When he isn’t working on schoolwork, you can find him practicing on the tennis courts, hitting a bucket of golf balls on the range or bowling with his friends. He loves playing tennis, golf, basketball and bowling. Last February, Orgill was one of the top bowlers for GHS at state. However, his true passion is tennis. He has played tennis all four years of high school, being first doubles varsity his junior and senior years. He is co-captain for the tennis team this year and looks forward to taking state this year in St. George with his team in May. Orgill’s concurrent GPA is 3.92 and he scored a 23 on his ACT. He plans on attending his freshman year of college at Southern Utah University and then going on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When he returns home he plans on getting his bachelor’s degree in accounting. He will then continue his advanced education to earn his master’s degree in business administration.
Brittany Parsons: Foreign Language
Brittney Parsons is the daughter of Michael and Ann Parsons. She has grown to love American Sign Language and everything related to the deaf world in the last two and a half years of ASL classes. GHS does not have ASL classes past the first level, and while the commute to Tooele High School every other day for the ASL II and III classes has not always been enjoyable, it has made the experience much more meaningful. Parsons has also been active in many extracurricular activities. She has been a member of the Key Club for four years and has held multiple leadership positions for the club, including being its current president. Swimming has been one of Parsons’ passions throughout high school. She was honored to have the opportunity to be a team captain for the 2012-2013 season. NHS, mock trial and girls’ soccer are a few of the other school organizations she has been involved in. She has also held multiple callings for her church and has earned both her young womanhood recognition award and her honor bee award. She has a 3.92 GPA and scored a 25 on the ACT. Nothing makes Parsons happier than putting a smile on someone’s face, even if they are laughing at something less than intelligent that she has just done. Parsons plans to begin a double major in early childhood education and athletic training upon graduation.
Shelby Randall: Speech and Drama
Shelby Randall is the daughter of Troy and Karen Randall. Through her high school education she has been involved in many extracurricular activities, like swimming, tennis, NHS, Key Club, law and debate, Legacy Ballroom Company and Drama Club. Currently, she is the Drama Club president and the lead in the spring musical, “The Phantom of the Opera.” She has also maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.9, received an ACT score of 29, has taken multiple college and AP courses, and has completed online schooling to supplement her yearly school credits. Randall’s passion for the acting world has led her to not only participate in high school theater, but also to pursue an acting career in the professional world. As a high school student she has been cast in more than 12 live theater productions, and as a professional actress she has worked and starred in projects such as a 2009 feature film “One Good Man,” a 2012 award-winning short film “Life According to Penny” and a commercial for A Foundation for a Better Life called “My Wish.” Randall plans to attend BYU this fall to major in theater arts education and minor in English. She has received the presidential scholarship from Southern Utah University, and the scholar’s scholarship from USU.
Mallory Serr: Dance
Mallory Serr is the daughter of Ammie Serr. She has an ACT composite of 24 and a cumulative GPA of 3.974. Serr has been a member of NHS, GHS’s Dance Company and show choir. She has also taken AP classes and concurrent enrollment classes. Serr plans to attend college and major in business and minor in dance. She would like to combine her two loves and work as an accountant and own her own dance studio. She has been dancing for 14 years and in that time has studied many diverse disciplines including ballet, jazz, ballroom, tap and modern dance. She has been dancing “en pointe” since she was 13. Serr is the vice president of Ovation Dance Company, a senior member of the Tooele Valley Academy of Dance – Advanced Ballet Company, president and head choreographer of the GHS Cabaret Singers Show Choir, and president of NHS. She has served as the junior representative of the Pankratz Academy of Dance ballroom dance company and is a student instructor of ballet at the Tooele Valley Academy of Dance.
Lance Taggart: Computer Technology
Lance Taggart is the son of John and Kendra Taggart. He loves using computers and new technology. Lance has taken several classes at the CLC. He has taken A+ Computer Repair and Networking and Computer Programming C++. Taggart is always seeking to learn more about computers and to improve them in any way he can. He recently took apart three of the computers in his home to build a new and improved computer. He is also the tech manager for the GHS drama department. He has helped with the lighting, sound and set design for many plays, including “Ruddigore,” “The Odd Couple,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “Angel in the Night,” “Happy Days,” “Pirates of Penzance,” and the musical, “Phantom of the Opera.” In addition, Taggart also played the role of the German Captain Ernst in GHS’s production of “Angel in the Night.” He is also an active member and vice president of Key Club. His concurrent GPA is 3.18 and he scored a 26 on his ACT. Taggart hopes to attend USU to study computer science in preparation for becoming a computer programmer.
Sidney Tippetts: Skilled and Technical Sciences
Sidney Tippetts is the daughter of Bradley and Holly Tippetts and the sister of Madison Tippetts. She is the current vice president of the NHS. Over the past four years, she has been a member of the girls’ soccer varsity team, spending two years as the co-captain and her senior year as the varsity head captain. Additionally, she is the Skills USA president and a member of the bowling team. She also has a public affairs internship at the Tooele Army Depot and an internship in the special education department at GHS. She also currently oversees the special education woodworking class. Furthermore, she has received her young womanhood recognition award along with her honor bee award. She also teaches the 6- and 7-year-old primary class at her church. She has been an active member of her community, representing her school as the first attendant for the 2012 GHS homecoming royalty and being named Miss Congeniality in the 2012 Miss Grantsville pageant. Tippetts is planning on attending USU in the fall and plans on serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after completing one semester of college. She will major in special education and aspires to teach special needs kids basic woodworking skills for her profession.
Bryant Wilson: Mathematics
Bryant Wilson is the son of Jesse and Teresa Wilson. He has a composite 23 on his ACT and has a cumulative GPA of 3.846. He plans on attending a four-year college and wants to minor in mathematics and major in music performance/education. Wilson has taken AP classes and concurrent enrollment classes. He has also earned his Eagle Scout, which taught him dedication and commitment. Wilson is the senior class president, a Freedom Academy graduate and the show choir vice president. In 2010, he served as the junior varsity football captain, and in 2010 and 2011 served as junior varsity soccer captain. Wilson earned the Streaky Strider Award for cross country and the leadership award at the Freedom Academy.
Biographical information provided by Marty Wallace, GHS Sterling Scholar coordinator.