Grantsville High School selected 13 seniors to 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 Grantsville High Sterling Scholar contestants and a brief bio about their academic interests and passions.
Savannah Ewer: Visual Arts
My name is Savannah Ewer. I was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and I am 18 years old. I have been producing art for as long as I can remember, and I am ecstatic to be the Sterling Scholar for the Visual Arts at Grantsville High School. This past semester has easily been the busiest of my high school career, but it has also been the most enlightening, transformative semester of my life. Art has always driven me to be better, and to do better. I have learned discipline and organizational skills throughout my years as both an artist and a student. These skills led me through my time as Art Club president, and in turn, I upheld my duties and responsibilities as a leader should. I have been privileged to have multiple opportunities to serve others this past year, including giving and participating in food drives hosted by my ward and being the spokesperson for Grantsville High School in the City Library Meetings.
Sabrina Winward: Instrumental Music
I am Sabrina Winward, and I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. I lived there for a short period of my childhood before moving to the Tooele Valley and Grantsville. I have always been a bright and dedicated individual, receiving praise from those around me for my academic achievement. I became skilled at self-management since my parents have both always worked full-time or greater jobs. I strive to do my very best in my education because I understand how beneficial it will be for both my and others’ futures. I found my place in music and the orchestra when I was in seventh grade, which changed my life. I had a newfound passion for extracurriculars and a purpose to continue my studies, along with a career goal. I want to help others; I always have, and music and education are my medium. I am excited to be able to help people in my future and better individuals’ lives and hopefully my piece of the world as well.
Rylee Dalton: World Languages
My name is Rylee Dalton, and I am from Grantsville, Utah. I have lived in Grantsville my entire life, along with the rest of my family. I am the youngest of 5 children; I have 2 sisters and 2 brothers. As a kid, I played a sport for every season of the year. My favorites were basketball, softball, and tennis. As I grew older, I expanded my interests, and I continued to play tennis through high school. At 8 years old, I was introduced to theatre and have been hooked ever since. I took Spanish classes all through junior high, and my freshman and sophomore year of high school. Sophomore year, I took my first American Sign Language class, and I have been passionate about ASL ever since.
Makayla Stettler: Mathematics
On March 7th, 2005, I opened my eyes for the first time and when everyone else looked back at me, they seemed to be saying who are you? Obviously only being a few minutes old the only thing that defined me was my name, Makayla Lynn Stettler. My last name connected me to 3 immediate family members: my mother, my father, and my older brother. 17 months later, I was connected to a little brother: where the five of us lived in Grantsville Utah. At the age of 5, I started kindergarten, and my younger brother and I started our first soccer season together, I learned friendship and teamwork from my school and soccer team, adding a friend and team leader to the question of who I am. At 6, another little baby got added to my family, my younger sister and 18 months later, a little brother. I began progressing in school and by the time of junior high, I found my passion for mathematics. High school rolled around and I began filling in more answers to the question, who am I? I became a 4.00 student, soccer player, and religious leader. My future hope is to add a Mathematics sterling scholar, chemical engineer, and mother, and one day build a family so a little girl like me can open her eyes for the first time and create her life the way she wants to live it.
Libby Whitham: Business and Marketing
I am Libby Whitham. My parents are from New Zealand but I was born in Wyoming. I moved to Utah in 2016 and fell in love with the small farm town called Grantsville. I am a two-year-in-a-row swim captain, I am a key club member, a National Honor Society (NHS) member, and a Future Business Leader of America (FBLA) member.
Lance Leonelli: English
June third, 2005, on a summer evening in Salt Lake City, a baby boy was born, Lance Aurelius Leonelli. My namesake, given in honor of my European heritage, referenced the devoted knight of the round table of the fabled Camelot, a paramount Roman Emperor and philosopher, with an Italian surname meaning “little lion.” All these names defined my path ahead. I am the first-born son of Shanz and Alexis Leonelli. I have one younger brother, Luke, who is my best friend. My parents always held high expectations, teaching me about life, and the importance of education, literature and art. I was often exposed to literary works although I was not entirely aware of it. A quote by Greek philosopher Heraclitus was positioned above my bed: “A man’s character is his fate.” My mom had me read it often, encouraging me to always remember it. I never recognized what my mom was trying to teach me back then, but as I have grown older, that quote has reminded me to always be true in heart and in nature. I am proud to represent Grantsville High School as the English Sterling Scholar.
Kahlea Burton: Family and Consumer Sciences
My name is Kahlea Burton and I am a senior at Grantsville High School. I am the Family and Consumer Science Sterling Scholar this year, and I could not be more excited! I have participated in FCCLA for almost two years now, and I have loved every minute of it. I have made many great friends and had many leadership opportunities opened to me over these few years. Some of my interests include theatre, orchestra, and voice. Music is a very important part of my life, and I have been playing piano for about ten years. I have been acting for about six years and it is my greatest passion. I am currently cast as Matilda Wormwood in Matilda the Musical.
Kade Loertscher: Computer Technology
My name is Kade Loertscher, and I am 17 years old. I have lived in Grantsville, Utah, my entire life but was born in Logan, Utah. When I was 11 years old, I joined the Boy Scouts of America. Scouts taught me leadership, service, and practical skills. I also joined the National Honors Society during my sophomore year, which has helped me seek more opportunities to serve. Ever since I was little, playing video games has been one of my main hobbies. In addition to playing games, I also loved creating games to play with my family. I became interested in computer science when I learned I could design my own video games. I took my first programming class at the Tooele Community Learning Center and have taken more every year. I have even gone on to earn multiple certifications in computer programming in those same classes. My curiosity concerning computer science has only grown and has been why I wanted to become a Computer Science Sterling Scholar. I also wanted to improve and push my abilities regarding service, leadership, and communication.
HadiLee Iverson: Skilled and Technical Sciences Education
I was given the name of HadiLee JaKell Iverson on December 4th, 2004, born in the small town of Richfield, Utah. Growing up in a blended family, I was blessed with a total of six siblings; three sisters and three brothers. We have lived in many different places but I have spent the majority of my life in Grantsville. I am honored to be chosen as the Skilled and Technical Science Sterling Scholar for Grantsville High School. I have always had a love for cosmetology starting at a young age. Some of the first memories I possess consist of spending my time in my grandma’s basement with three things: my mom as a model, a roll of toilet paper as foils, and hair bows to make sure the foils were secure. I would act as if I was lightening my moms hair with the toilet paper, making her entire head full of pretend foils. She was a good sport about it and always let me do this; little did she know I would remember those moments forever and it would become my career. Being selected as a Sterling Scholar has given me the opportunity to be a good example to my peers and community. My confidence has grown as I’ve pushed myself in high school and through the opportunities in this program.
Emmaline Anderson: General
As I entered my final year of high school, I decided I wanted something different; something that would challenge me and push me to excel in ways that I didn’t believe that I could. Therefore, I became a Sterling Scholar. My name is Emmaline Anderson, and I am a senior at Grantsville High School. I have worked to keep a 4.0 grade point average(GPA) and have been part of the honor roll for as long as I can remember. During my freshman year, I decided that I wanted to become a class officer, connecting with the other students at my school. I put together a campaign and received more votes than I hoped, becoming the Sophomore Class Secretary. This opportunity was incredible and led to me serving for two more years in the positions of Junior Class President and Senior Class Secretary. I later became part of the National Honor Society and was elected into that presidency as well, serving as the Vice President. Another one of my favorite activities is with my religious group, where I serve as the Young Women’s Class President. My position in this ward youth presidency provided me with relationships that encouraged me to join SheTech, a club in which I am the Secretary. I have learned how to juggle these responsibilities while being enrolled in seven concurrent enrollment classes and two Advanced Placement(AP) classes. Because of this, I am looking to graduate with 19 college credits before attending Snow College in the fall.
Breanne Eggett: Vocal Performance
My name is Breanne Eggett. I’m a senior in high school, working towards an Associates Degree of Science! I am on track to graduate with both a high school diploma and an Associates Degree. I play soccer for my high school, as the goalie. I sing, and I’ve performed locally as well as competed locally. I also love to dance (ballroom dance, solo, and group). I’ve been able to compete in dance as well. This year, I am the Vocal Performance Sterling Scholar for my high school. Throughout high school, I’ve been able to maintain an unweighted GPA above 3.5 (including college classes). I’ve participated in multiple clubs, sports, and activities throughout high school. These include: student government, soccer, ballroom dance, dance company, key club, golf, and more! Since the time I was young, I’ve loved singing. I never thought that I would be able to pursue a career in vocal performance until recently. I’ve had opportunities to perform and it has inspired me to search for options that would allow me to sing as part of my career. I think the Sterling Scholar program is an amazing opportunity to showcase the talent that can come out of Grantsville.
Ashlyn Edwards: Dance
My name is Ashlyn Dee Pearl Edwards. I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and moved to Grantsville, Utah soon after. I am the youngest child and only have one other sibling, my brother Bridger. I am a hardworking and very determined person. I love the outdoors and spending time with my dogs. I have had a passion for dance and a dream to be a cheerleader since I was a little girl. I have had many opportunities to establish my dance career through choreographing routines. I want to become a Sterling Scholar because I feel I have excelled in my dance career and want to take it one step further. I have performed outstandingly in school with a 3.8 GPA. I love to be involved and keep myself busy. It is an honor to be representing Grantsville High School for this year’s Dance Sterling Scholar.
Allison Hurst: Social Science
My name is Allison Hurst. I was born in Logan, Utah. Community has been the foundation of my life. Some of my earliest memories are of the neighborhood events my mom put on. When we moved to Grantsville, we got involved in the Clark Historic Farm. I was seven at the time, and my mom founded the Friends of the Clark Historic Farm to preserve the piece of our town’s history. As a family, we organized several annual events and participated as volunteers. In 2016, we left the farm to the vice president. My dad got a job in Rome, Italy to build a temple. I attended the American Overseas School of Rome, an international school with students from over 100 different countries! On the weekends, we explored Italy, Rome, and Europe. Once back in America, my mom resumed her position as president of the Clark Farm. By then, I was old enough to teach the children at our summer camps Grantsville and Utah history and aid in tours of the local museums and cemetery. This past summer, along with the camps, I attended ALA Girls State and returned to Italy as an exchange student. I learned a new language, broadened my knowledge of Italian culture, and grew to appreciate my home country. Today, I participate in numerous clubs, including FCCLA, NHS, SheTech, Youth City Council, and Sterling Scholar.