Ultimately, selecting nominees is the responsibility of the school principal and not the Deseret News or KSL 5 Television. No specific method of selection is required, although the process provides an excellent opportunity to encourage scholarship. Accordingly, the opportunity to apply to the Sterling Scholar program should be open to as many students as possible.
The following procedure is encouraged to determine each school's Sterling Scholar.
1. Principal selects and assigns a committee of school faculty, including a Sterling Scholar coordinator, to administer the nomination process of public high school seniors for Sterling Scholar Awards participation. (The Deseret News and KSL 5 Television do not take part in the selection of nominees. This is left up to the individual schools, with the principals making the final decision.) ALL QUESTIONS FROM STUDENTS AND PARENTS NEED TO BE DIRECTED TO THE INDIVIDUAL HIGH SCHOOL COORDINATOR, PRINCIPAL AND/OR ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL AND NOT THE DESERET NEWS OR KSL 5 TELEVISION. ALL INQUIRIES MUST BE HANDLED BY THE SCHOOL COORDINATOR, PRINCIPAL OR ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL, who is responsible for contacting the Deseret News or KSL 5 Television for clarification. (This includes parents, students, private teachers, etc.) FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS RULE MAY RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION OF NOMINEE.
2. The committee should create a questionnaire that is distributed to students as a guide for evaluating activities, achievements and ambitions within an area of high school education that is characterized by one of the Sterling Scholar categories.
3. The completed questionnaire and supporting materials should be submitted to the principal and/or assigned committee for review. Departmental advisers should be contacted for aid in nominee recommendations based on the submitted questionnaire and additional information.
4. Ultimately, the principal will determine which individual in each category will be submitted as the school's official nominee.
In the Wasatch Front area, with 57 public high schools, semi-final judging is held on a regional basis to select finalists. Two to three judges will be provided in each category for each regional location if possible. Judges will come from among public high school educators, higher education and/or the private sector. Final judging occurs two weeks later. Two to four judges will work in each category, usually selected from the State Office of Education, higher education and among Utah's business and professional communities. Judges in each category work together but independently of all other judges. There are no provisions to allocate or distribute winners or runners-up among the schools. Judges are instructed to select the most qualified in each category without regard to school affiliation.
Judging will be based on portfolios, exhibits and personal interviews. All nominees must be present at the appropriate time and place for their personal interview. Interviews cannot be changed to another day to accommodate individual needs. There are no exceptions. No provisions will be made to schedule special interviews to suit individual needs or for a videotape, audiotape, PowerPoint presentation, etc. or another individual to represent that nominee. Teleconferencing is not permitted. ALL DECISIONS OF THE JUDGES ARE FINAL. Officials from the Deseret News and KSL 5 Television will not overrule any judges' decision absent clear and convincing proof of fraud or abuse. The Deseret News and KSL 5 Television reserves the right to reschedule judging of interviews and will notify nominees (schools) as may be appropriate.
Formula for judging
Judges will rate scholars on the following scale: Scholarship, 50 points (25 each for Overall and Category Scholarship); Leadership, 25 points; and Community Service/Citizenship, 25 points. To arrive at a composite score, judges will assign each scholar a rating from 0 to 50 on Scholarship and from 0 to 25 each in Leadership and Community Service/Citizenship, and then add the scores together such as in the following example:
Overall Scholarship: ... 23
Category Scholarship: ... 24
Leadership: ... 21