Fourteen seniors represented Tooele High School at the Wasatch Front Regional semifinal Sterling Scholar judging in February.
The Sterling Scholar Awards are sponsored by Deseret News and KSL 5 Television. The program publicly recognizes high school seniors from 76 high schools along the Wasatch Front for outstanding academics, stellar leadership, exemplary citizenship and exceptional service to school and community.
Every Sterling Scholar must complete a 20-page portfolio documenting their academic achievements, leadership and service. They are personally interviewed at the semifinal competition by a panel of three judges who are experts in the various categories.
Fifteen finalists in each category are selected to move on in the competition. The finalists again compete with their portfolios and another interview with three new judges. A winner and two runners-up in each category are announced at the Sterling Scholar Award ceremony, which was held at the LDS Conference Center earlier this month.
Judd Tolbert – Skilled and Technical Sciences
Awards and accomplishments: Judd Tolbert loves agriculture and says he knows the value of hard work. He learned his work ethic from his parents and from being raised around livestock. “I love to work, and I am currently employed as a veterinary technician,” he said. He has served as FFA president. He was on the veterinary science judging team where he took both an individual and a team second at the recent Deseret Peak judging event. He was named Mr. Tooele for 2016-17. He had an ACT score of 31 and his GPA is a 3.95 with a rigorous honors schedule and AP Literature and concurrent enrollment Math 1050.
Future plans: Tolbert plans to study agricultural engineering and is looking to attend either Southern Utah University or Utah State University.
Collin McEachern – Science
Awards and accomplishments: Collin McEachern’s high school GPA is 3.998 and he scored a 33 on the ACT. He is completing four career pathways and receiving four diploma enrichments, and is a member of the Utah Scholars Program and received the White Buffalo Award. He had five AP classes and has enrolled in five concurrent enrollment courses, including sports medicine, psychology, biotechnology and physics. He was one of five students selected by Brigham Young University for an internship in its chemistry and biochemistry department in the summer of 2017. He is on the swim and water polo teams, president of both the HOSA and math clubs, captain of the THS Academic Olympiad team, leader at Utah Boys’ State, as well as being a member of the Interact Club and National Honor Society. He is an Eagle Scout. He has donated over 320 documented hours of service to community and state, received the Mayor’s Youth Award, won regional and state swimming medals, lettered in swimming four years, and named water polo all-state where he took a silver medal at state. He, placed fourth in the state math competition twice, was a HOSA state medalist twice and attended the International Leadership Conference in Orlando, was named American Chemical Society top chemistry student, and placed as a Sterling Scholar regional semifinalist. He received the Ted Pitts swimming award for most inspirational swimmer and for his team spirit and he was named a National QuestBridge Scholar and finalist.
Future plans: After serving an LDS mission, McEachern plans to obtain a PhD in toxicology, where he hopes to discover life-saving drugs from natural poisons and venoms.
Samuel Thompson – English
Awards and accomplishments: Samuel Thompson is a student body senator. He is also a member of the varsity tennis team. He has maintained a 3.9 GPA and scored a 33 on the ACT. He is a member of the National Honor Society and has played football all four years. He also is a member of the HOSA Club and Academic Olympiad team and he received his Eagle Scout.
Future plans: Thompson will attend BYU this fall to study biology. Next summer, he plans to depart on an LDS mission.
Karina Kenison – Family & Consumer Sciences
Awards and accomplishments: Karina Kenison qualified for FCCLA Nationals three years in the star event competitions. She won 3rd place her freshman year in the recycle and redesign (junior category), 1st place her junior year in fashion construction (senior category) and 1st place this year in fashion construction (occupational category). She will be attending the national competition for the first time this June in Atlanta, Georgia. Kenison has served two years as president of the THS FCCLA. She is also president of two other clubs: the National Honor Society and show choir. Last fall, she performed the lead role of “Milly” in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” at THS. She has run varsity cross-country and is a distance runner on the track team for the past two years.
Future plans: Kenison plans to serve an LDS mission this fall, then attend Utah State University to study elementary education.
Mariana Sablan – Speech/Theater Arts/ Forensics
Awards and accomplishments: Mariana Sablan maintained a 4.0 throughout high school and served as a student body officer and as tennis team president. She was named speech president of the debate team. She accumulated 643 points on the National Speech and Debate Association and has given speeches to the commander of Tooele Army Depot and the Utah National Guard. Recently, she also prepared and gave a speech at the THS freedom week activities.
Future plans: Sablan will study political science and she aspires to be a political advisor in Washington, D.C.
Cassandra Palmer – Business and Marketing
Awards and accomplishments: Cassandra Palmer qualified for FBLA Nationals the past four years and she also qualified for the DECA Nationals during her junior and senior years. Last year, she placed first at DECA State in marketing management team and in decision-making. She received the AP Scholar with Distinction award for scoring high on all of her AP exams. She has served for two years as president of both DECA and FBLA at Tooele High.
Future Plans: Palmer has not decided which college to attend yet, but she wants to get a joint MBA/juris-doctorate degree.
Ryan Callister – Vocal Performance
Awards and accomplishments: Ryan Callister has won national video competitions, including a 1st place in American Bankers Association’s “Saver’s Choice” contest, a 3rd place ABA’s “Lights, Camera, Save!” contest, 1st place in K-12 “Get Real” competition, and he said he is one of six national finalists in the “Drive Smart Now” contest. He has also won at state competition awards, including Jump$tart and the professional 48H Film Contest and at every Tooele High film festival, and this year he is in charge of the festival. He is a member of both track and cross-country teams, where he has also won awards and where he has served for two years as captain of the cross-country team. He is a member of show choir, is the RAD PAC ambassador, and serves as a student body officer in publicity and public relations. He started his own videography business and has made thousands of dollars running it on a part-time basis.
Future plans: Callister plans to leave on an LDS mission this July. When he returns, he will attend BYU to study media arts in August 2020. He wants to be a videographer for the LDS Church.
Owen Ferguson – Social Science
Awards and accomplishments: Owen Ferguson is naturally curious about and has a love for different cultures, which, he attributes to the fact that his mother is Brazilian. He is interested in history and how the U.S. government works. His extracurricular activities include: soccer, student government, FBLA, DECA and show choir. He passed the AP human geography, world history, and U.S. History tests. His GPA is a 3.9 and he scored a 30 on the ACT. He has served as a senior class officer and is an FBLA member and sings in show choir.
Future plans: After high school, he plans to attend BYU, where he thinks he might major in commercial music.
Scott Howsden, Mathematics
Awards and accomplishments: Scott Howsden is on the varsity swim team, where he swam freestyle and butterfly and he served as water polo team captain. He is a member of NHS and math club. He took fourth in the state Kangaroo Math competition last year, and holds AP Calculus AB and BC, plus a 3.98 GPA and 33 ACT score.
Future plans: To go to California Baptist University in Riverside, California and study mechanical engineering.
Katharine Krippner – Dance
Awards and accomplishments: Katharine Krippner is on the dance company, where she served as historian for two years. Her GPA is 3.9 and ACT score is a 29. She is also a member of Interact service club and French club, where she served as vice president. She used to compete in studio dancing and she has taken first in many solo and team events. She received high points in contemporary solos for both Releve and Dance American competitions, and she choreographed the THS dance company’s superior region performance dance.
Future plans: Krippner will attend the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri to study international business and she will be on the university’s contemporary dance team.
W. Hunter Nelson – World Languages
Awards and accomplishments: W. Hunter Nelson has taken Spanish for the last five-and-a-half years. He started a Winter Sports Club for students to go snowboarding and skiing. He is also the inter-organizational council representative for the math club. Hunter received the Adam Valdez Memorial Scholarship award for his wrestling. He is on the seminary council and will be graduating with his high school diploma and an Associate of Science in May. Hunter scored a 31 on the ACT and holds a 3.7 GPA.
Future plans: Nelson will serve an LDS mission and will study computer science at Southern Utah University.
Elijah Shovan – Visual Arts
Awards and accomplishments: Elijah Shovan received jurors’ honorable mention for his mixed media art piece at the Springville Museum of Art’s all-state high school exhibit. In addition to his awards in art, Shovan was a three-year letter recipient in varsity football. His junior year, he was named to the all-state football 2nd team and he received all-county honors. For two years he has served as a yearbook editor and he was appointed SkillsUSA THS chapter president.
Future plans: Shovan will study at Snow College, majoring in mechanical engineering. Then, he will attend Utah State University to finish his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering with an aerospace emphasis, with the plan to next complete a master’s degree in aerospace engineering.
Reagan Thomas – Instrumental Music
Awards and accomplishments: Reagan Thomas has played the French horn for seven years. She performed at state solo and ensemble for three years and served as the drum major for the marching band for the last two years. In the summer of 2016, Thomas auditioned for the FFA National Band. She won the only spot for Utah and was able to travel with her advisor to participate at the FFA national convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, that October. She and the advisor spent nine days at the convention, where Thomas enjoyed playing under several different band directors, which, she said, stretched her musically.
Future plans: She will serve an LDS mission, and upon her return, she will attend either Snow College or Utah State University on a music and academic scholarship. She will study music education.
Jared Walker – Computer Technology
Awards and accomplishments: Jared earned the Java programming certificate, which helped him to solidify his decision to continue a career in programming. Other technical classes he completed at the Community Learning Center include: game development, robotics and mobile app development.
Future plans: Walker was unavailable at press time to provide comment.