The Deseret News/KSL 2014 Sterling Scholar award winners were named Wednesday evening in the culmination of a competition that narrowed down a field of 1,000 candidates to 210, and then to 14 over the past few weeks.
Here's a look at the winners of the 14 categories: Business & Marketing, Computer Technology, Dance, English, Family & Consumer Science, Instrumental Music, Mathematics, Science, Skilled & Technical Sciences, Social Science, Speech/Theater Arts/Forensics, Visual Arts, Vocal Performance and World Languages.
The winners of the Douglas F. Bates Community Service Award and the Philo T. Farnsworth Governor's Award are also listed.
>> Lucy Nebeker of West High is interviewed while showcasing her pieces in the visual arts category during the finals for the Deseret News/KSL Sterling Scholars competition at Corner Canyon High School in Draper on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014.
Area: Skilled & Technical Sciences
Name: Jacob Buhler
School: Springville High School
Parents: Richard and Kim Buhler
Scholarship: Ranks 1 of 420; overall GPA is 4.0; 31 composite ACT.
Awards and accomplishments: Four-year Presidential full tuition scholarship to Weber State University; HOBY Ambassador; SHS HOPE Squad member; BYU Mens Soccer Team; National Honor Society member.
"There will always be someone with better equipment or a larger skill set than mine, but I have come to love the art of telling stories through the lens of a camera. My passion for filmmaking has exceeded my personal financial resources, so I have been dependent on the school’s. Whether or not my filmmaking ultimately leads to a professional vocation or remains my personal avocation, I will continue to enjoy being able to tell stories. They may not be considered Spielberg material or caliber, but I always invest a large and important part of me in every film I create, and I am better for the experience."
Name: David Sagae
School: Hillcrest High School
Parents: Joaquim and Caroline Sagae
Scholarship: Ranks 22 of 483; overall GPA is 3.997; 32 composite ACT
Awards and accomplishments: First place FBLA Business Communication — Metro Region; first place FBLA Global Business; first place Future Business Leader; Founder of TrialSize Donations.org; Eagle Scout.
"I have achieved three levels in the Business Achievement Awards, which taught me hard work and dedication is required to progress.
"As I learned more about business dynamics and my work with charities and humanitarian efforts, last year I founded a nonprofit organization called TrialSize Donations.org. I am grateful for the business knowledge I gained and also my involvement with nonprofit organizations to help those in need."
Name: Michael Liddle
School: Timpanogos High School
Parents: Stephen and Melody Liddle
Scholarship: Ranks 71 of 414; overall GPA is 3.918; 34 composite ACT.
Awards and accomplishments: IT support agent for ISPs at ServerPlus; Four time state champion in TSA Systems Control challenge as programmer; second place TSA Animatronics state competition programming in C++; highest core on Network Certification exam at ServerPlus; Eagle Scout and Varsity Danali Scout.
"The great thing about work experience and challenges in work is that you can learn just about anything about any subject doing anything. By writing English papers I solve problems in my code.
"By doing Stats homework I realize why the computers aren’t giving the expected outcome.
"By looking for knowledge about a subject, as I have with computers, in everything you do, you integrate your learning, exponentially increasing both the rate at which you learn and your learning potential."
Name: Julia Dushku
School: Viewmont High School
Parents: Alexander and Jennifer Dushku
Scholarship: Ranks 1 of 570; overall GPA is 4.0; 29 composite ACT.
Awards and accomplishments: Captain of the Advanced High School dance team at Creative Arts Academy; editor of the yearbook and newspaper staff; seminary class president; Creative Arts Academy dance studio intern.
"As a teenager, I find that I have too much emotion condensed into a fragile frame. Through dance I’m able to release everything that causes me anguish. I can say everything without saying anything at all. When I am mad, I dance; when I am sad, I dance; when I’m happy, I dance! It brings me peace of mind and comfort. I am my better self while dancing, and through dancing I’ve been able to find my best self. … Most of all, when I look back on life I will remember how much dance refined me and how much I loved it. Just the memory will fill my life with happiness. My dance has defined me, and it will continue to do so."
Name: Taylor Stevens
School: West Jordan High School
Parents: Necia and Martin Stevens
Scholarship: Ranks 26 of 479; overall GPA is 3.967; 29 composite ACT.
Awards and accomplishments: Editor-in-chief and news editor of the high school newspaper; member of varsity debate team and member of the National Forensic League; National Honor Society Service chair.
"Writing saved my life. Maybe that’s why I feel I owe it so much that I would drive out of my way for more. I have always hungered after it. From the time I was struck by the magic of the Harry Potter novels as a young girl I knew that I wanted to make others feel that power and connection. As I was planning on making this impact on others, I had no idea that my writing would have such an impact on me.
"I believe that a leader filled with passion instills within the rest of their group a sense of dedication to that same product, and I have always tried to make my staff feel as though we are working to a common goal."
Name: Lucia Montagnoli
School: American Fork High School
Parents: Cliff and Martha Montagnoli
Scholarship: Ranks 75 of 640; overall GPA is 3.928; 24 composite ACT.
Awards and accomplishments: Lettered in academics; National Honors Society; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA); CTE skills certificates in Adult Roles, Financial Literacy, Interior Design and Clothing.
"Family and Consumer Sciences is not just something you are involved in. It is who you are. The fundamental concepts taught in Family and Consumer Sciences classes have helped develop the world and continue to benefit society.
"I will utilize my knowledge gained and skills acquired to give back and to make the world a better place by offering my unique part. I am able to use everything I have been taught in my classes and truly apply it to not only my life, but also my future career choice of being a teacher.
"Family and Consumer Sciences have helped me discover who I am and what I want to do with my future."
Name: Shannon May Brown
School: Skyline High School
Parents: John Brown, Alison Brown
Scholarship: Overall GPA is 4.0; 32 composite ACT.
Awards and accomplishments: Letter in music; National Honor Society president; sophomore class president; concert master/section leader of Young Artist Chamber Players; Skyline Strings founder and president.
"I want to take my involvement with music and turn it in to a career that is creative, demanding and rewarding.
"I plan on continuing to play the violin throughout my entire life. In addition, I plan to teach my own children the skills and lessons I learned through music. While practicing isn’t always fun, it always feels great knowing what you have accomplished.
"Playing the violin takes a lot of hard work, but I enjoy the time I put into it. Music will continue to enrich my life because it proves to me that I can accomplish anything if I set my mind to it."
Name: Sarah Silcox
School: West High School
Parents: Geoff and Diane Silcox
Scholarship: Overall GPA is 3.95; 35 composite ACT.
Awards and accomplishments: USA Junior Math Olympiad qualifyer; National Mathcounts competitor; West ELP math club coach; American Regional Math League; co-captain of high school math club; co-captain of Utah’s ARML team.
"Math has already enriched my life. I support the opinions expressed in the preface of “Art of Problem Solving Volume 2.” The authors agree that the math in high school competitions is largely irrelevant to adult life. Competitions do, however, teach the lifelong skill of problem-solving. They build confidence, demonstrate the value of hard work and connect students with like-minded peers.
"I have gained hard to teach skills, such as mental dexterity and resilience from math. When I am confronted by a problem as an adult, I will use all available resources: my co-workers, reference books, the Internet and a variety of methods."
Name: Amber Barron
School: Riverton High School
Parents: Janae and Randy Barron
Scholarship: Ranks 52 of 659; overall GPA is 3.978; 28 composite ACT.
Awards and accomplishments: 2013 NASA’s Women in STEM High School Aerospace scholar; Justine 2012 REAL Girl National finalist; president of MESA Club; mentor for Girl Scouts of USA’s Girl Scout Leadership.
"Through my participation in science, specifically engineering and physics, I have developed logical reasoning and thinking skills.
"A crucial, yet challenging, component of the engineering process is establishing a design criteria describing characteristics the prototypes must possess; this requires critical-thinking skills.
"Additionally, through my participation in the NASA WISH Aerospace Scholar Program, I developed problem-solving skills leading to innovative solutions.
"By developing these skills, I am able to brainstorm solutions and demonstrate real-world connections on a daily basis."
Name: Brenda Qunitana
School: Maple Mountain High School
Parents: Barbara Quintana, Jose Luis Quintana
Scholarship: Ranks 1 of 415; overall GPA is 4.0; 29 composite ACT.
Awards and accomplishments: Governor’s Honors Academy 2013; AP Scholar with honors 2013; student council, senior council treasurer; vice president Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.
"I want to help others understand the world around them, and the context and history in which various issues and events arise; not only that, but I want to help others understand humanity.
"Social Science is essentially the study of people and their relationship with society. Regardless of whether you are studying history, politics, international relations, or psychology — you have to understand people.
"This understanding of humanity allows us to be more sympathetic and considerate to those who are different than us, as well as teaches us how to be critical about the society we live in."
Name: Spencer D. Barlow
School: Lone Peak High School
Parents: David and Crystal Barlow
Scholarship: Ranks 77 of 731; overall GPA is 3.978; 33 composite ACT.
Awards and accomplishments: Vice president, Lone Peak debate team; National Merit semi-finalist; Highland Youth City Council; mayor and supreme court justice at Utah Boys’ State; Eagle Scout.
"Unlike most other serious debaters, I am not interested in a career in law or politics. … I really would like to be a physician. While public policy and ethics debate might seem like a strange fit for a future medical doctor, I believe my debate experience will be very helpful in my intended career and in my life generally. In debate, key skills include the ability to read critically, listen actively and explain your own views clearly and persuasively. As a doctor, these forensic skills will be very helpful with other medical personnel, whether the setting is an academic conference or an operating room. … Finally, excellent communication skills have and will continue to enrich my personal life."
Name: Lucy Nebeker
School: West High School
Parents: Jonathan and Melinda Nebeker
Scholarship: Ranks 1 of 556; overall GPA is 4.0; 34 composite ACT.
Awards and accomplishments: All-State High School Art Show 2013; featured work in Springville Museum of Art; participant in Secret Art Charity Show; president of West’s Model U.N. team.
"People often think that art is an imitation of reality, but I would argue that it is actually a super-saturated version of existence. In art, I see a world colored by emotion and imagination, a world of infinite possibilities. I paint to be a part of this world, to transcend the banal and seek out the extraordinary. Art allows me to find personal meaning and significance in my life. An invaluable trait, which I will use to continue to enrich my life.
"I believe that I am not alone in my love of beauty. I believe that I will find self-actualization if I can, in a small or large way, help make the world little bit more lovely."
Name: Mandy White
School: Timpanogos High School
Parents: Karen and Eugene White
Scholarship: Ranks 107 of 414; overall GPA is 3.842; 30 composite ACT.
Awards and accomplishments: Student body president; National Honor Society; academic letter in leadership; internship at the BYU School of Music.
"I plan to spend my post-collegiate years performing and teaching in this area of study. I am preparing myself to follow in Dr. Reich’s footsteps by uplifting and serving people through creating my own music and teaching others to create their own music.
"I particularly wish to emphasize raising awareness and appreciation for classical music throughout my career. Music has and always will be an important part of my life, and I look forward to building my future in it and assisting others in building theirs."
Name: Tanner Nelson
School: Jordan High School
Parents: Karl and Amy Nelson
Scholarship: Ranks 1 of 485; overall GPA is 4.0; 28 composite ACT.
Awards and accomplishments: BYU Foreign Language Bowl; academic letter in foreign language; Spanish club president; sophomore football team captain; Eagle Scout.
"Even though I am only one person, I know that I can create change in the world.
"I have already seen the benefits that come from the knowledge of World Languages and how they enrich my life. More importantly, while in Peru I have seen how I can use this same knowledge to enrich the lives of others. There are many non-English speakers in our community in desperate need of the help that we can give. Our only stumbling block when trying to assist them is the language barrier that exists. With World Languages, I can enrich my life through enriching the lives of others."
Name: Wyatt John McNeill
School: Riverton High School
Parents: John and Katera McNeill
Scholarship: Ranks 89 of 659; overall GPA is 3.932; 29 composite ACT.
Awards and accomplishments: Riverton High School French club president; 2013 BYU Foreign Language Fair; co-president for Salt Lake chapters Red Cross Youth Services; Rotary Youth Leadership Ambassador.
"Other than just French I have also had the opportunity to be a part of Spanish club. This has been a good experience involving going to different Spanish restaurants and participating in things like Cinco De Mayo, and other meetings.
"French language helped make it possible for me, while being in Kenya, to teach kids French alongside my sister who helped teach Spanish. This was an extremely enriching experience because after teaching them some French, I had the opportunity to learn some of their native language, Kiswahilli, which I remember little other than some small phrases."
Name: Bryce Frederickson
School: Timpanogos High School
Parents: John and Karyn Frederickson
Scholarship: Ranks 1 of 414; overall GPA is 4.0; 33 composite ACT.
Awards and accomplishments: Academic letter in mathematics; two-time Timpanogos High School American Math Contest winner; math club secretary 2013-2014; special needs youth mentor; volunteer tutor.
"Often, in my spare time, I find my thoughts wandering to contemplation of imaginary numbers, the fourth dimension and other things I’m certain are far too abstract to be meaningful in day-to-day life. Some people might think I’m just doing math for math’s sake, I’m just satisfying my curiosity, and I will not benefit from thinking about the abstract. … Intuition will only take us so far, but expanding our thoughts beyond our experience and intuitions allows us to see the workings of the world in unexpected ways.
"By stepping outside the practical and intuitive, I open the door to let logic teach me what I could never learn otherwise."