Grantsville High School selected 14 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.
Two of Grantsville High School’s Sterling Scholars won their category and four were honored as a runner-up.
Below are the 14 Grantsville High Sterling Scholar contestants and a brief bio about their academic interests and passions. The bios were provided by SHS.
Lacy Linares – Business & Marketing Winner
Lacy is an influential leader who is currently serving as the president of the Grantsville High School Chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America. She has also been involved in student government for 4 years. As a senior Lacy was selected to serve on the UServeUtah council where she organized a project to aid multilingual students in elementary school. She has also volunteered as a member of the Tooele County Youth Court for three years. She has an impressive 3.95 GPA. Lacy was selected as the Business and Marketing Sterling Scholar winner. She is the daughter of Justin Linares and Kristen Linares. Her future plans include attending Utah State University, serving a religious mission, and earning a degree in education.
Connor Paxman – Computer Technology
Connor’s computer expertise includes skill certificates in software development and career exploration. He has completed a 1200-hour Software Development course. Connor also has completed courses in Python development. He has competed in Hackathons and various other coding competitions. After graduation Connor plans to earn a degree in computer science. Connor is also a talented distance runner who has competed at the varsity level in cross country for 3 years and has been a member of the track team. Connor is the son of Ken Paxman and Jennifer Paxman.
Dance – Elizabeth Whitworth
Elizabeth has received dance training for 14 years and has danced competitively for seven years. She has also been a dance instructor for six years. Miss Whitworth was a humanitarian ambassador in Zimbabwe where she helped to construct a medical clinic. Elizabeth has taken rigorous classes at Grantsville High School where she has an impressive 4.0 GPA. She is the daughter of Michael Whitworth and Maria Whitworth. Elizabeth plans to study nursing at Southern Utah University.
Erin Petersen – English Runner-Up
Erin is a talented writer who was selected as a winner of the 2020 “Grand Youth New Voices” Playwright Festival. Her short play was performed by professional actors. Petersen excelled in AP English Language and Composition and AP English Literature at Grantsville High School. Miss Petersen scored an impressive 35 on the English section of the ACT and has a 3.98 GPA. Other notable accomplishments include being the captain of the girl’s cross-country team and the head choreographer for the theater department. Erin was selected as the English Sterling Scholar runner-up. A scholarship will be awarded to Erin for this honor. Erin’s future plans include serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints., attending Brigham Young University, and majoring in English Education. Erin is the daughter of Shannon and Scott Mouritsen.
Jordyn Wilder – General Winner
Jordyn is an exceptionally well-rounded individual who excels as a student, leader, and volunteer. Miss Wilder was selected as the General Sterling Scholar winner this year. She has taken a rigorous course load throughout high school earning a perfect 4.0 GPA. Jordyn is passionate about STEM and has served as a member of the SheTech Student Board for the State of Utah. Her accomplishments in STEM also earned her a “National Center for Women and Information Technology Award.” Miss Wilder received the Seal of Biliteracy for being proficient in French. She was also recognized as the “Volunteer of the Year” for her commitment to the First Tee program. Jordyn serves as the National Honor Society president at Grantsville High School. Jordyn plans to major in statistics and minor in computer science at the University of Utah. Her parents are Randy Wilder and Brenda Wilder.
Crissa Allen – Instrumental Music
Crissa is an integral part of the jazz band, concert band, and marching band programs at Grantsville High School. She has been the flute and low brass section leader. She has written several arrangements of various songs and composed her own music. Crissa has also taught herself how to repair instruments. Miss Allen is a top scholar at Grantsville High School where she has taken both concurrent enrollment and Advanced Placement classes. She is the daughter of Jason Allen and Brandy Allen. Crissa plans to major in music at Snow College in the fall.
Bryson Bowers – Mathematics
Bryson has excelled in math since the 2nd grade. He successfully completed the AP Calculus class at Grantsville High School as a junior and is currently enrolled in AP Statistics. Mr. Bowers scored in the top 1% of the nation on the Math Skills and Math Knowledge portion of the ASVAB. Bryson is the National Honor Society Liaison and the Vice President of the Tooele Chapter of Technology Students of America. Mr. Bowers is also an Eagle Scout. He plans to attend Brigham Young University where he will continue his study of mathematics and select a degree related to that field. He also plans to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His parents are Jacob Bowers and Wendy Bowers.
Jadiah Jensen – Science
Winning the school science fair as a 10-year-old boy was the beginning of Mr. Jensen’s scientific exploration. At Grantsville High School Jensen has a stellar 3.95 cumulative GPA while taking the most rigorous science classes available to him. Jadiah has also helped judge both elementary and district level science fair competitions. He is an outstanding athlete who competed at the varsity level on the wrestling team. After graduation Jensen plans to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He will attend Brigham Young University majoring in the physical sciences and the business program. He is the son of Bryce Jensen and Michelle Jensen.
Zane Pitz – Skilled And Technical Science
Zane has earned an impressive 7 CTE Certificates including the following; CAD Mechanical Design, Engineering Principles 1 and 2, Graphic Arts 2 and 3, and Woods 1 and 2. Zane has spent countless hours volunteering in a variety of community service projects. He is an outstanding leader currently serving as the senior class secretary. Zane excels in the classroom and has a cumulative GPA of 3.96. He is passionate about automotive aerodynamics and would like to pursue a career in mechanical engineering. He will continue his education at the University of Utah. His parents are Leslie Pitz and Stacie Pitz.
Eleanor Kate Lowery – Social Science Runner-Up
Eleanor is currently an intern at the Grantsville Justice Court. She completed the National History Academy class where she studied the Cherokee Removal Act and its impact on current events. She scored a 5 on both the AP US History and AP World History exams. Miss Lowery also spent time in Kenya, Africa doing humanitarian work. Ellie organized a community service project where she raised funds to purchase stuffed animals for the Children’s Justice Center. She excels as an athlete and was the captain of the cross-country team. Her extensive social science accomplishments earned her runner-up honors and a scholarship through the Sterling Scholar program. She is the daughter of Josh Lowery and Jenifer Lowery. She will attend Brigham Young University with plans to major in international relations with a double minor in Russian and philosophy.
Jaclynn Henninger – Speech/Theater Arts/Forensics
Jaclynn made her first appearance on stage in junior high and since that time has been involved in 16 theatrical productions. She has had leading roles in multiple productions since she was a freshman, including; Colin Craven in The Secret Garden and Myrtle Mae in Harvey. She has been cast as Katherine in the upcoming production of Freaky Friday. Jaclynn is also a talented make-up artist who has developed designs for a variety of characters. Miss Henninger also created her own scholarship to allow selected elementary students the opportunity to participate in acting classes. Jaclynn is a top scholar at Grantsville High School with a 3.9 cumulative GPA. She is the daughter of Ray Henninger and Betsy Henninger.
Anne Liese Wood – Visual Arts
Liese Wood has been drawing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. During her senior year, her artwork was accepted into the Springville Art Museum. She is enrolled in the AP Art Studio class where she is working on her professional portfolio. She has also won a variety of awards in graphic arts. Her designs have been featured on posters, theater sets, t-shirts, logos, and stickers. Miss Wood is on track to receive the Commercial Arts Pathway. After graduation Liese would like to have a career relating to art. Her parents are Teresa Wood and Nathan Wood.
Amber Collier – Vocal Performance Runner-Up
Amber has a passion for singing. She has been both a soloist and performed in a variety of choir groups since she was a child. She was selected to be one of twelve choir members from the Tooele Valley to perform at the Deseret Peak Temple Groundbreaking. Amber also earned the highest possible ratings at Region and State Solo and Ensemble competitions. She is an outstanding leader who has been the choir president, and the Alto Section Leader. Amber uses her talents on a regular basis singing at a variety of events. Amber earned a scholarship for being named a runner-up in the Sterling Scholar vocal performance category. Her parents are Elaine Shrewsbury and Donald Collier. She plans to study aviation maintenance and minor in music at Southern Utah University.
Natalia Winder – World Languages Runner-Up
Natalia excelled in all 3 levels of American Sign Language at Grantsville High School earning all A’s in her ASL classes. She has a beautiful, elegant and expressive way of using ASL. She has used her sign language talents in multiple projects. She created videos where she told spooky stories through the art of signs. Natalia has used acrylic paint, Photoshop, and Lightroom to create art projects to raise awareness of the deaf culture. Natalia is also the editor of the Grantsville High School yearbook and a talented photographer. Natalia has a perfect 4.0 cumulative GPA. She was selected as the Sterling Scholar runner-up for the World Language category. She will use the scholarship she received at Snow College where she will study both ASL and graphic arts. Natalia’s parents are Jeff Winder and Rebecca Winder.