Twelve seniors were chosen to represent Tooele High School in the Deseret Morning News/KSL Sterling Scholar program this year.
Interviews were first held at Tooele High School to narrow the participants down to the most deserving twelve in their respective categories. After the Sterling Scholars were chosen they had to prepare portfolios which included specifics about the individual scholar’s concentration in their category, the leadership roles they have held throughout high school, and community service projects in which they have participated, as well as any other activities.
After spending countless hours writing, scanning pictures and putting together an interesting and well-written portfolio, the scholars were interviewed for the semi-finals of the Sterling Scholar Program at Brighton High School on Feb. 23. Each scholar competed against well-qualified students from other schools in the Wasatch Front Region. Of the 676 nominees who went to the semi-finals, only 195 were chosen for the final round. Tiffany Jack in the dance category was the only nominee from Tooele High to be selected for the final round of competition.
“(It) forced me to realize all the rewarding and meaningful accomplishments I’ve done (have) meant something,” said Jack.
Despite only one Tooele High School student going on in the competition all the nominees learned a great deal from their experience with the Sterling Scholar program.
“I thought it was a great way for students with special skills to compete and earn college scholarships. It was a difficult task to work for, but I really encourage everyone who is interested to try for it, because it’s a lot of fun,” said music nominee Alyssa Falkner.
It was definitely a challenge for all of the nominees, especially those who procrastinated putting their portfolio together until the last moment. The portfolio not only helped with the Sterling Scholar process but also to help the students remember what they have accomplished throughout their high school careers.
“It was interesting to compile my entire high school career into a portfolio and see what I had accomplished,” said Laura Hunter, the foreign language nominee.
Preparing for the interview was also a big part of the Sterling Scholar program. Students had to be quick on their feet to answer questions regarding their portfolios, category, or any other questions about what the nominee would do for the next few years. The ten-minute interviews were the nominee’s last chance to shine for the interviewers so they would consider them as a finalist. In the dance, speech/ drama, and music categories, nominees performed for their judges as well as answering questions. The nominees had to be prepared for anything thrown their way, including what pantomime had to do with English.
The nominees from Tooele High School did very well representing their school and themselves as Sterling Scholars. All of the time and effort put forth in their portfolios and preparation for the interview process were well worth it. The nominees were not only able to reflect on their high school experiences, but also to show they could compete with students from other schools by showing off their knowledge of the category they were selected to represent.
Parents: Darrell and Karen Jack
College Plans: University of Utah
Career Plans: Speech and reading therapist
School Achievements: Graduating with honors, National Honor Society, outstanding attendance, honor roll, Drill Mistress
Extracurricular Activities: Key Club, Rotary, Sha-Ronns, Dance Company, Drama Club, Homecoming Queen, Tooele County Dairy Attendant, 3rd place at Region Drama Competition in Pantomime, State Champion in Pantomime, Co-Jr. Miss title holder, Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible
Parents: Deidre Hicks and JW and Mary Anderson
College Plans: Westminster College
Career Plans: Master’s in nursing/nutrition degree or an art major
School Achievements: Graduate with Associate of Science degree, received Governor’s Initiative on Families Today scholarship, and Visions Unlimited
Extracurricular Activities: Active member of Faith Temple Pentecostal Church, 4-H, Drama Club Publicist, HOSA, Future Business Leaders of America, and Co-Jr. Miss title holder for Tooele County
Ada Van Zanten
Parents: Evelyn Van Zanten
College Plans: University of Utah Career Plans: Get a job!
School Achievements: Renaissance Recognition, Salutatorian, various advanced placement and community college classes, Tooele High School girl’s tennis team
Extracurricular Activities: National Honor Society President, Youth City Council mayor, FBLA officer, FFA member, youth court
Parents: Flint and Sandra Richards
College Plans: Snow College for two years then transferring to Brigham Young University majoring in Business
Career Plans: Undecided
School Achievements: Renaissance awards, Honor Roll, Keys to Success, and Sterling Scholar Extracurricular Activities: Future Farmers of America, Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor Society, debate team, Key Club, French Club, 4-H, Mock Trial, and Parliamentary Procedures team
Parents: Won Young DeSpain
College Plans: University of Utah
Career Plans: Become a doctor or surgeon of some type
School Achievements: 3.9 GPA, 33 ACT score, outstanding attendance for four years, and honors program
Extracurricular Activities: Four-year member of the baseball and basketball teams, athletic trainer for volleyball and football, and volunteer at the Mountain West Medical Center
Parents: Mickey and Lynn Falkner
College Plans: Southern Utah University
Career Plans: Criminal Justice
School Achievements: Qualified for region and solo ensemble
Extracurricular Activities: United States Pony Clubs, Tooele Sign Pride, Students Against Dangerous Decisions, Future Farmers of America, and 4-H
Parents: Gary and Judy Fowler
College Plans: Brigham Young University
Career Plans: Pediatrician
School Achievements: 4.0 GPA and 32 ACT score
Extracurricular Activities: First place in Dramatic Monologues at Region Drama, Key Club, Interact, National Honor Society, German Club, Drama Club, and Visions Unlimited
Melissa S. Thompson
Parents: Roger and Laura Thompson
College Plans: Southern Utah University to obtain a bachelor’s degree in communications/ journalism
Career Plans: Continue schooling to obtain a master’s degree or perhaps a doctorate and become a journalist for a major newspaper or an editor for a publishing company
School Achievements: Co-editor in chief of the Buffalog, qualified for State Drama competition four years in a row, won a first, third, and second places in Pantomime at Region Drama Competition in 2002, 2003, and 2005, Pantomime Team Captain, Academic All- Region for cross-country, attendance awards, cross-country and track captain, played Julia Gibbs in Our Town, head technician for Tooele High School drama department, won second place in the 2005 District Spring Art Show, won third place in the 2004 Tooele High School Winter Art Show, and a certified photographer
Extracurricular Activities: Cross-country, track, Buffalog, National Honor Society, work as a cashier at Buddy’s Fun Center, four year drama club member, won awards in the Tooele County and Utah State Fairs in photography, and member of the “Roundtable” for the Tooele Transcript Bulletin.
Parents: Melvin and Pauline Fish
College Plans: Utah Valley State College with an associate’s degree in photography
Career Plans: Pursuing a career in portrait photography
School Achievements: Won first place in the State Skills USA competition in photography, played Gertrude McFuzz in Seussical: the Musical, qualified for State Drama three years in a row, and won the “Best of Show” award in the 2005 District Spring Art Show
Extracurricular Activities: National Honor Society, President of the Art Club, Drama Club, Show Choir, and yearbook staff editor
Parents: Gary and Karen Hunter
College Plans: Utah State University and participating in the Study Abroad program
Career Plans: Become an architect and open up own firm
School Achievements: Class officer for four years, National Honor Society Vice- President, Key Club Treasurer, French and German classes, 3.9 GPA, and a score of 32 on the ACT
Extracurricular Activities: Part of a month long student exchange in Kambarka, Russia and has hosted Japanese students
Parents: Chris and Rania Tillman
College Plans: University of Utah
Career Plans: Undecided, currently thinking something in science
School Achievements: Valedictorian, Honor Roll, taken all offered advanced placement courses and tests
Extracurricular Activities: Student Body Officer, tennis, Academic Olympiad, State Math Contest, Chess Club, Jazz Band, Band Drum Major and Field Commander, National Honor Society Historian
Parents: Veronica Sandoval
College Plans: University of Utah majoring in Business
Career Plans: Undecided
School Achievements: Academic All-State for golf, Academic All-Region for basketball, honor roll, and Wendy’s Heisman State Finalist
Extracurricular Activities: Senior class officer, member of the golf, basketball, and tennis teams, Youth City Council, Chess Club, Academic Olympiad, and state math contest