Stansbury High School had 13 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 13 SHS Sterling Scholar contestants and a brief bio about their academic interests and passions. The bios were provided by SHS.
Brandon Hadlock — Dance
Brandon has lived in Utah his entire life, but he moved to Tooele from Logan at age 7. Brandon has always had a musical passion from playing piano at 5 to starting dance at age 11. He was really excited for the opportunity to be the Sterling Scholar and represent the school as the first male dance sterling scholar from SHS. With only six years of dancing experience it was definitely an accomplishment for him. He is planning on attending college at Dixie State University in August and plans on studying dance as a minor for his Mathematics education major.
Autumn Zierenberg — Science
Autumn has lived in Utah for nine years, growing her passion for the ocean in this landlocked state. Attending Stansbury High School, she has learned chemical and biological lab procedures as well as participating in contests around the country. She placed 44th in the MATE International ROV Competition in 2018 and has attended National 4-H Congress in 2019. Currently Autumn plans to attend Utah State University to gain bachelors degrees in biology and biochemistry. After her attendance at Utah State she plans to transfer to the University of California San Diego to get her doctorate in marine toxicology.
Bella Colovich — English
Bella usually spends time with a writing utensil in her hand as she enjoys creating small stories, prose, and poetry. “Throughout high school in all my English classes, my amazing teachers encouraged my writing. Over time I learned that words are powerful and can make differences in the world,” Bella wrote. She hopes to continue writing and sharing memorable stories with the world.
Eliza Beazer — Mathematics
Some of Eliza’s favorite activities in high school have been Academic Decathlon, SheTech, National Honor Society, and running cross country and track. She found a passion for math after taking calculus her junior year. At the beginning of the pandemic she decided to use her math skills to meet a need in her community through tutoring. Eliza relates, “I’d often been involved in service projects with large groups, but it was really special to see how I could help someone one-on-one and make a difference in their life.” Eliza is currently working towards her medical assisting certification and hopes to study in the medical field after high school. She will attend Brigham Young University before serving a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Jill Morrison — Vocal Performance
Jill is the Student Body vice president at Stansbury High School, a member of SheTech, and an officer in Show Choir. She has sung for events with her siblings in three to five part harmonies since she could talk, performed in and won Battle of the Bands, sang for school and community events, and sang with two of my high school’s advanced choirs. According to Jill, singing gives her gratification and confidence in herself, since it is something she loves and is able to accomplish well. “The way I can make others feel through my singing gives me purpose,” she said. “I am sure that it will continue to do so as I continue singing throughout my life.”
Joshua Reynolds — Business and Marketing
Joshua has lived in Utah his entire life, but has only recently discovered his passion for business. “I did not start taking courses in the business area until last year,” Joshua wrote in his Sterling Scholar portfolio. “Little did I know that I would enjoy it as much as I did and understand it so naturally.” He will be attending Brigham Young University in the fall with a major in accounting.
Maame Johnson — Skilled and Technical Sciences Education
Maame was born in Ghana, Africa. At age four she was adopted and moved to Tooele County. “I have been able to recognize that my background is unique, and I can use it to bless others while working in the medical field,” she said. Maame is a certified phlebotomist and is currently enrolled in the medical assisting course offered at Tooele Technical College. In her portfolio Maame wrote, “Earning the Skills and Technical Sciences Sterling Scholar would be the perfect way to demonstrate my achievements in the health science programs at Stansbury High School and Tooele Technical College. My hope is that being a Sterling Scholar will be another step in reaching my goal of using my talents to improve the lives of others.” In the fall Maame plans on attending College of Southern Idaho.
Tara Larsen — Family and Consumer Sciences
Tarahas always loved taking care of children and cooking for her family, but her family and consumer science classes have also uncovered her talents for interior design and sewing. Larsen has been an Family, Career and Community Leaders of America officer for all four years of high school. This experience has increased her love for service as she planned projects to help others. Her FCCLA advisors have taught Tara many valuable lessons that she will always remember and cherish. In her portfolio, Tara wrote, “The most important lesson has been that family always comes first. Family is the pinnacle of my life and joy.”
Emma Wilson — Art
Emma is the second of eight children. She spent 12 years living in Illinois prior to moving to Stansbury Park. She has always had a love of reading and has seen how imagery and storytelling can translate directly into the art pieces she so skillfully creates. Her artistic passion lies in the area of ceramics and 3D creations. She tutors underclassmen and has always found joy in passing her knowledge on to younger artists. Emma is a National Merit Scholarship semi finalist.
Max Nicholson — World Languages
Max spent time in France as a young child and learned to speak French while a preschool student there. He moved to Tooele County but didn’t forget the love he has for the French language and culture. He has taken AP French and applied for the Seal of Biliteracy. He is a member of the SHS Swim team and has also participated in debate and water polo. He strives to be a leader in life and a problem solver who can change the world for the better.
Sone Osborn — Social Sciences
Sone is one of seven children in her family. This experience has provided “a lot of chaos but also constant companionship.” Her mother worked hard to help the children academically and Sone was able to excel in school from a young age for which she credits her mom and the hours she spent reading to her. Since her freshman year, Sone worked toward the goal of becoming a Sterling Scholar through rigorous academic classes and strict discipline.
Emily Wolfley — Instrumental Music
Being exposed to music at an early age, music has always been a part of Emily’s life. It has helped her in her education, her performing skills, and her drive to work hard at difficult tasks. Because music has had such a big impact on her life, she is passionate about sharing her talents with others. Emily hopes to inspire them to become involved in the arts themselves and ultimately unlock great potential. One of Emily’s favorite things to do is teach private music lessons. She loves to watch her students grow as they learn to dedicate themselves to something they love.
Bailey Higgins — Speech / Theatre / Forensics
Bailey has always been a performer. Whether that be with singing, dancing or acting. Bailey also enjoys being with friends and making jewelry with whatever spare time they have. “I’m so proud to be Sterling Scholar because I feel like I get to represent my school, by showing what I’m so passionate about.” Bailey is so thankful for this opportunity and is thrilled to be the Theatre Sterling Scholar.