Grantsville High School had 14 seniors compete in the Wasatch Front Region of the Deseret News/KSL Sterling Scholar Program.
The purpose of the Sterling Scholar Awards is to publicly recognize and encourage the pursuit of excellence in scholarship, community service, leadership and citizenship of public high school seniors in the state of Utah.
The Deseret News and KSL Broadcast Group developed the program in the 1960s to focus attention on outstanding seniors in order to recognize them publicly, as well as award cash scholarships and tuition waivers from participating institutions.
A Sterling Scholar demonstrates excellence in academics, leadership, service, interview skills, and one of 15 specific categories, which include agriculture science, business and marketing, computer technology, dance, English and literature, family and consumer sciences, general scholarship, instrumental music, mathematics, science, speech and drama, skilled and technical education, visual arts, vocal performance, and world languages.
Candidates for Sterling Scholar are selected by their high school. The Sterling Scholar Awards program seeks to commend and encourage excellence among all students.
All nominees are judged equally on the basis of scholastic achievement, community service, leadership and citizenship without regard to religion, sex, political preference or national origin.
Below are the 14 GHS Sterling Scholar contestants and a brief bio about their academic interests and passions. The bios were provided by GHS.
Taeler Rae Herren – Agriculture Science
Taeler has always loved working with and caring for animals. As a member of the Future Farmers of America she is a 4-year competitor on the horse judging team. Taeler has also competed showing horses through the Tooele County 4-H program. She has volunteered many hours helping a young girl with health-related challenges learn to ride horses. She has also been instrumental in the success of the GHS greenhouse. Taeler excels in the classroom earning a 3.5 GPA. After graduation Taeler plans to become an agriculture educator. She is the daughter of Carl Herren and Shellie Herren.
Ethan Wells – Business & Marketing
Ethan is an influential leader who has served as the president of the Grantsville High School Future Business Leaders of America Chapter for the past three years. His passion for FBLA was key to his chapter becoming the 3A Program of Work State Champions. He authored his FBLA Chapter Business Report that led to the Most Outstanding Chapter Award. Individually he received 1st place honors in the FBLA Management Decision Making Competition. Wells was the local chairman for the Toys for Tots campaign for two consecutive years. He managed the sports concession stand at GHS helping various clubs earn funds for their programs. He is also a talented chef and welder. Ethan is the son of Jeremy Wells and Heather Wells.
Karter Ence – Computer Technology
Karter’s computer expertise includes Python programming, gaming development, webpage design and maintaining a NAS server. He is a top scholar at Grantsville High School boasting a 3.99 GPA with a 32 Composite Score on the ACT. He is an outstanding leader who served as a member of the Stake Youth Council. He is also a talented cellist and has served as the orchestra president. Karter is the son of Kurtis Ence and Kim Ence.
Acelyn Fuentes – English
Miss Fuentes has a love and appreciation for the English language. She is a talented writer who has challenged herself in the classroom. She earned the highest score possible on the AP English Language Arts and Composition exam and is currently taking AP English Literature. She is a 3-year Varsity member of the Cross-Country team where she earned Academic All-State honors. She is also a member of the National Honor Society. She serves on the Latter-day Saint Seminary Council and has a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA. Her parents are Anthony Fuentes and Christel Fuentes.
Aspen Williams – Family & Consumer Science
Aspen has been involved with the Little Round Preschool for 4 years. As an active member of the FCCLA she has earned multiple skill certificates in childcare, foods, and sewing. Aspen used her sewing skills volunteering to sew masks helping people stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is the recipient of the Student Excellence Award for her outstanding accomplishments in Family & Consumer Science at Grantsville High School. Aspen would like to become a preschool teacher. She has a 3.9 GPA. Aspen is the daughter of Chad Williams and Lacey Williams.
Evan Thomas – General
Evan is an exceptionally well-rounded individual who excels as a student, athlete, leader and volunteer. He has taken a rigorous course load throughout high school earning a perfect 4.0 GPA. His ACT composite score is 34. Evan is involved in student government and National Honors Society. He is an outstanding athlete who competed on the varsity level in cross-country, swimming and track. Evan was selected to represent Grantsville High School as a Grantsville City Suicide and Drug Prevention Coalition board member. Evans will work towards a career in the medical field following graduation. His parents are Doug Thomas and Candee Thomas.
Sam Weis – Instrumental Music
Sam is an integral part of the Grantsville High School band program. As a musician, he won a marching band state championship in 2019. He also qualified for the State Solo and Ensemble Competition in the spring of 2020. He has played the trombone since the 7th grade. He has been the low brass section leader earning an award for the “best section.” Sam also excels in the classroom and has taken honors, AP, and college classes. Sam will attend Snow College in the fall. He is the son of LeRoy Weis and Lesley Weis.
Jessica Adams – Mathematics
Jessica has loved mathematics ever since she was a little girl. She completed her math credits at GHS at an accelerated pace. At the completion of her junior year, she earned the highest score possible on the AP calculus AB exam. She has been a calculus peer tutor and a member of the math club. Adams has an impressive 3.8 GPA and earned a 32-composite score on the ACT. Jessica plans to attend Utah Valley University where she will work towards a degree in software engineering. Her parents are Robert Adams and Linda Adams.
Megan Mollard – Social Science
When Megan was a freshman, she set a goal to earn her Associates Degree while in high school. She has earned 30 college-level social science credits on her road to receiving her degree this spring. She was also selected to be the lead attorney on the mock trial team. She excels in 4-H where she has filled multiple leadership roles including: club president, secretary, mentor, and Horse Council delegate. Megan is the daughter of Michael Mollard and Lesley Mollard. She plans to attend Gonzaga University and pursue a law degree.
Megan Taylor – Science
Megan has wanted to be a nurse ever since she was a little girl. She is enrolled in three different training programs to become a licensed Medical Assistant, Phlebotomist, and Nursing Assistant. She has taken an extensive list of science courses to prepare her for her career. Megan is an outstanding leader currently serving as the National Honor Society president. She is also a member of the ballroom dance team and played on the school soccer team. Megan has a 3.9 GPA and earned a 30 Composite on the ACT. Megan is the daughter of Sheridan Taylor and Heather Taylor.
Landon Gumucio – Speech/Theatre Arts/Forensics Runner-Up
Landon made his first appearance on stage as a preschool child. Since that time, he has participated in over 50 theatrical productions. Leading roles during high school include: Lazar Wolf (Fiddler on the Roof), Yertle (Seussical), Major (Secret Garden) and Mal (Adams Family). Landon has also performed in multiple productions at the Old Grantsville Church Community Theater. He also has technical sound, lighting and stage crew experience. He is a State Drama Qualifier. Landon is a 4-year member of the GHS Show Choir where he is the baritone section leader. Landon also received 3 varsity letters for football. He is an Eagle Scout where he earned over 117 Merit Badges. His Eagle Scout project logged over 1,639 volunteer hours. Landon is the son of David Gumucio and Kimberly Gumucio.
Myranda Arave – Visual Arts
Myranda is an extremely talented photographer. She has taken college-level art classes during high school. Myranda has also taken classes outside of high school including: Prismacolor, watercolor, and oil painting. She spends many hours working as a volunteer photographer sharing her talents with others. She excels as an athlete as a varsity member of the girls’ soccer team and track team. After graduation Myranda plans to attend Southern Utah University and become a teacher. She is the daughter of Todd Arave and KennaRae Arave.
Madison Martin – Vocal Performance
Madison has a passion for singing. She has been a soloist at multiple events including performing The Star-Spangled Banner at athletic competitions. She also plays both the piano and the cello. In the fall of 2020, she was selected by her peers as the Homecoming Queen. She is a member of the Seminary Council and the National Honor Society. Martin has been a member of the volleyball team, basketball team, and track team all four years of high school. She has a 3.96 GPA. She will be attending Utah State University. Madison is the daughter of Eddie Martin and Julia Martin.
Amanda Meek – World Languages
Amanda has been studying world languages since junior high. She has taken every Spanish language class available to her and studied American Sign Language for 3 years. She received the top score on the Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL) Test for Spanish. Amanda participated in the Brigham Young University language fair where she represented GHS in the Language Bowl. She also participated in the “Day of Silence” to raise awareness of the deaf community. Her cumulative GPA is 3.88. Amanda is the daughter of Misty Biesinger and Benjamin Meek.