After schools in the Wasatch region selected Sterling Scholars in several subjects, the second round of judging was held at Woods Cross High School in February, where judges whittled down their lists of most impressive students and decided winners.
Here's a look at winners in 13 different categories, as well as winners of the Douglas F. Bates Community Service Award and the Philo T. Farnsworth Governor's Award.
Read more about the winners and the Sterling Scholar competition.
Sterling Scholar awards, 2013: Runners up
School: American Fork High School
Parents: David James and Lori James
Scholarship: Ranks first of 642; overall GPA is 4.0; 35 composite ACT
Awards and projects: University of Utah Research Scholar; National Honor Society president; National Honor Society secretary; Steel Band section leader: Tenor Section leader; HOSA public relations officer; Weekly Big Brother Big Sister volunteer mentor; Science Help Lab tutor.
"Science has already enriched my life in so many ways that I can't imagine anything different for my future. On one hand, I plan to have a career in science. I'm not sure what I want to do, but I know what I love, and I'll figure it out. Whether I end up as a university professor or a chemical engineer, I'm certain science will be a part of the equation. If I never do another chemistry problem as long as I live, I'll have gained the invaluable skills of problem-solving, innovation and creativity. For me, science is about more than minute details of our world, or obscure fact memorization. Science is a field of innovation, discovery and creativity like none other."
School: Fremont High
Parents: Rod and Suzanne Herrick
Scholarship: Ranks first of 563; overall GPA is 4.0; 32 composite ACT.
Awards and projects: Utah DECA State president 2012-13; Victim/Witness Intern — Weber County Attorney's office; BizWorld Volunteer — BizWorld Foundation; fifth place International DECA Principals of Marketing Role Play event; first place state DECA Sports and Entertainment Marketing Operations Research event.
"I have learned that the youth of this country are full of ingenuity and ambition. … In my small way, I am sharing my business knowledge with the next generation, helping them build the foundation they need to become the future business leaders of America."
School: Westlake High School
Parents: Jeffrey Robe and Patricia Robe
Scholarship: Ranks 39th of 514; overall GPA is 3.959; 28 composite ACT.
Awards and projects: President of Westlake's Technology Student Association club; developed and released two iPhone applications to the Apple App Store; worked as a software engineer developing tax software at Taxware Systems Inc.; created five professional websites for different companies; started an Application Development company, Electric Orange Applications; volunteered for more than 500 hours developing software for the Christa McAuliffe Space Education Center; took fourth place at a BYU Mobile Application competition.
"Programming has changed my life. From the first line of code I've written to the most complex line I've written, I have always had a love for programming. When you are creating applications, you truly have no limit to what you are able to do."
School: Skyline High School
Parents: Bryan and Kay Thomas
Scholarship: Overall GPA is 3.98; 33 composite ACT.
Awards and projects: Yearbook editor in chief; Wasatch Junior High student body historian; Service Scholar award recipient for service to school and community including service internship, self-coordinated project and reflection journal; aide in Dancers with Disabilities class at Tanner Dance for children ages 3 to 9; lead dancer in spring performance premiere of "The Apple Pip Princess" at Capitol Theatre.
"I believe that dance, as an art, can enrich the lives of those who appreciate it. As a hobby, those who dance can enrich their own lives. Dance is a valuable tool for me to recognize my emotions and ponder ideas in ways that I cannot do through words or my thoughts. Dance is a very raw, very personal form of art and can forge strong connections between those who dance and those who watch."
School: Skyline High School
Parents: Paula and Rob Cook
Scholarship: Overall GPA is 3.98; 33 composite ACT.
Awards and projects: Editor in chief, news editor and staff writer for Skyline High School's monthly newspaper, The Horizon 2; artistic director for Skyline's literary magazine, The Satorian; senior class president for Skyline High School; class leader for Skyline High School's Percussion Ensemble; member of the Dancers' Council for University of Utah's Children's Dance Theatre; Member of Skyline High School's National Honors Society.
"Writing is my main form of self-expression, and my only recourse when simple conversation fails me. My involvement with the school publications and my writing internship with Granite School District have opened my eyes to the world around me and to my place within it. I intend to carry my work with journalism on into my career, and to keep writing for the rest of my life."
School: Westlake High School
Parents: Mark and Frances Wilcox
Scholarship: Ranks 47th of 514; overall GPA is 3.935; 31 composite ACT.
Awards and projects: National FCCLA "STAR Event" gold medalist — including four gold medals within regional/state competitions; internship at the Saratoga Springs City Attorney's offices; AP Scholar Award with Honor; Westlake Chef of the Month; $12,000 scholarship to the International Culinary Schools at the Art Institutes; ServSafe certification; Utah FCCLA state president; WHS student body officer and student life chairman; ProStart management team captain; Skills USA chapter vice president; National Honor Society member and officer.
"I am encouraged to promote professionalism, knowledge of FCCLA, and a spirit of leadership throughout the state association. I have learned that true leadership has nothing to do with entitlement, however everything to do with making a positive impact and empowering others."
School: Pioneer High School
Parents: Karen Boyd and John Boyd
Scholarship: Overall GPA is 4.0; 32 composite ACT.
Awards and projects: Student body officer of Pioneer High School's Student Council; vice president of Lehi High School's Chinese Language and Culture Club; president and founder of Lehi High School's firstPing Pong Club; won two competitive Chinese NSLI-Y study abroad scholarships in China.
"As I have spent the past six years learning Mandarin Chinese, one of the things that I have become increasingly aware of is how much the language has benefitted my life. Not only have I had the chance to travel to other countries, but I have also been able to gain a worldwide perspective of different cultures. Because learning this language has helped me so much, for many years I have wanted to do something to give back to the community that started me on my way, and enable others to share in the great opportunity that awaits learning Chinese."
School: West High School
Parents: Krzysztof Kubica and Anna Kubica
Scholarship: Ranks 15th out 483; overall GPA is 4.0; 36 composite ACT.
Awards and projects: On the state American Regions Math League A team since eighth grade; qualified for American Invitational Mathematics Examination since seventh grade; captain of the American Regions Math League Utah team; captain of Utah Crew; president and founder of West High's math club. Active member of the West High National Honor Society. First place nationally in Math Kangaroo; First place in the Utah State Math Contest.
"The world around us is built upon axioms, but if we change these axioms ... the possibilities are limitless. And only mathematics can explore these possibilities fully. I am a creative person at heart and an explorer at soul: The only field that can satisfy my desire for the new and unimaginable is the only field that plays upon reality as if it were an ancient Stradivarius: mathematics."
School: Skyline High School
Parents: Dan and Jana Sorensen
Scholarship: Overall GPA is 3.93; 30 composite ACT.
Awards and projects: Concert master of Skyline High School Philharmonic Orchestra; member of the National Honors Society for high school seniors; cross country varsity girls team captain; live audition finalist in 2011 Salute to Youth Competition; featured soloist on Intermountain Suzuki Strings Institute Student Honors Recital.
"Music was my introduction to the world of discipline. Because I started violin lessons at age 6, I was able to develop discipline at a very young age. This has benefitted every aspect of my life and allowed me to excel in my academics and sports, as well as in music. Music has the power to heal like nothing else does; it lets the listener remove themselves from their physical pain. Serving others with music is one of the most rewarding things that I will ever do. I am truly grateful to be blessed with the gift of music."
School: Mountain View High School
Parents: Samuel and Cathy Fletcher
Scholarship: Ranks 58th of 421; overall GPA is 3.89; 30 composite ACT.
Awards and projects: President of Mountain View's Technology Students of America club; vice president of MVHS's Skills USA club; Venturing Crew president of Crew 1734; section leader in band for six years.
"I now know more about cars and how to fix them. I learned how to weld and build things with metal. Woodworking gave me more ideas of projects I can build for my future home. Drafting has helped me develop critical thinking skills, as well as computer skills. I've learned to not let mistakes or failures bring me down and get in the way of excellence. It has been hard living up to my own expectations, but I know I can do it, and that is what keeps me going. My life has already been enriched, and I am sure it will continue to be enriched throughout my life from my involvement in this category."
School: Hunter High School
Parents: Jorge Delgadillo and Maria Luz Perales-VillanuevaCity
Scholarship: Overall GPA is 3.82; 30 composite ACT.
Awards and projects: Debate vice president/treasurer; Latinos in Action; superior distinction in National Forensics League; docent for West Valley Cultural Center; Outstanding French Student; Sophomore class president; Latinos in Action vice president/president; participant of Utah Valley University's Scientists of Tomorrow program; peer tutoring; Youth Community Citizenship award; Key Club member.
"Being imaginative makes it easier for me to put myself in another person's place and understand her/his struggles and ideas. It has helped me create unique academic and artistic work, and helps me appreciate the original work of others in the arts, sciences and social sciences. Because I am imaginative, I have found unique ways to become a better leader and support my debate team, school and family."
School: Woods Cross High School
Parents: Lincoln and Ann Holbrook
Scholarship: Ranks 57th of 424; overall GPA is 3.94; 26 composite ACT.
Awards and scholarships: Debate team president, Woods Cross High School; national aualifier in Public Forum Debate; region champion (Congress and Public Forum); National Forensic League-1000 Points; member of first-place state Model U.N. team; Mock Trial state champion and Nationals attendee; lt. governor City Council, County and State delegate — Boys State; teacher assistant and coach to the novice debate team; Debate Congress captain.
"Regardless of whether I choose to become a lawyer, a judge or a teacher, I will always use the communication skills I learned as a debater. Forensics has improved my logical thinking, my speaking and presentation skills, my writing, and even my listening ability. The improvement I have seen in my own life over the past three years is unparalleled."
School: Northridge High School
Parents: Melanie and David Allen
Scholarship: Ranks 20th of 537; overall GPA is 3.99; 24 composite ACT.
Awards and projects: Student body officer; class officer; emergency medical technician; Snowhorse Art Gallery council member; showcase artist in Arise and Shine Forth, LDS International Youth Art Competition.
"Ceramics has given me a vision; I will become a world-class ceramic artist. This goal has taught me many valuable life lessons. I have discovered that I do my best work when I relax and remember not to get so tight and not to worry about the little things; they will work themselves out as I focus on the bigger picture.
I don't believe I will ever stop pushing myself to be better, so there will never be a finish line to cross. I look forward to the joy and excitement of opening night at a gallery. It is always amazing to see the look on other people's faces when they see your art or how it is made. I am excited for future art competitions and the further inspiration and skill that await me as I continue to turn hunks of clay into pieces of fine art."
School: Timpview High School
Parents: Larry and Jan Sorensen
Scholarship: Ranks first of 452; overall GPA is 4.0; 34 composite ACT.
Award: This award is named for the late Douglas F. Bates, Utah State Office of Education legal counsel and former associate superintendent, who exemplified outstanding community service. In addition to a trophy, a check for $400 is given courtesy of Deseret News/KSL.
"I developed a unique sense of diligence and self-motivation at an early age. Science is a field of persistence: it's required to make observations, to carry out experiments, to rework theories when no conclusion can be reached, and especially to gain the knowledge needed prior to any of these. Similarly, motivation is absolutely pivotal if any scientist hopes to make an unprecedented breakthrough or subsequent discovery. My diligence and self-motivation seem to do just the trick … my love for the subject has grown tenfold, and I'm now more certain than ever that science is indeed 'my thing.'"
Mountain View High School
Parents: Rod and Earlet Meiners
Scholarship: Ranks 96th of 431; overall GPA is 3.84; 31 composite ACT.
Award: This award is given jointly by the governor's office and Deseret News/KSL to an outstanding Sterling Scholar in science. Named after the father of television, Philo T. Farnsworth, the award includes a statuette of Farnsworth, as well as $400 from Deseret News/KSL.
"I am very passionate about technology and engineering. Over the past four years I have invested a significant amount of my time studying and exploring programming and engineering. I have participated in programming, wood and metal working, auto shop, CAD, and welding. I plan on continuing to develop these skills at a university this year. I wish to study computer engineering. I hope to apply this degree in a job where I can be a part of the most important inventions in the future. My involvement in the computer technology Sterling Scholar will give me a great start on achieving my goals."