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Kanab, Utah's Weekly Newspaper, Serving Kane County, Utah & the Arizona Strip

Southern Utah News Front Page: March 26, 2020

Southern Utah News Front Page Photo

2020 Sterling Scholar candidates

Because of the coronavirus situation, instead of the usual annual Sterling Scholar competition on April 2, at the Dixie State University campus, a virtual interview will be held with each of the 197 students from 19 high schools and five school districts to complete the final round of judging.

This statewide academic competition recognizes the achievements of Utah’s high school seniors in the following 15 categories: Agriculture Science, Business and Marketing, Computer Technology, Dance, English, Family and Consumer Sciences, World Languages, General Scholarship, Mathematics, Music, Science, Social Science, Speech and Drama, Skilled and Technical Science Education, and Visual Arts.

Each of the 197 finalists will be interviewed by judges via video conference and given time to explain their personal achievements and awards compiled in their digital portfolios. The winners will be chosen based on their experience and skills in scholarship, leadership and citizenship. A winner and two runners-up in each of the categories will be chosen.

These deserving scholars will receive a Sterling Scholar pin or charm along with a scholarship. Finalists from each high school will also receive a Sterling Scholar Certificate.

The three judges in each category come from local communities, Dixie State University, Snow College and Southern Utah University.

Many colleges and universities in Utah offer scholarships to both the winners and the runners-up to help these students in achieving their goals. Some of these scholarships include cash amounts up to $2500 or full tuition waivers. The support from the higher educational institutions in the state is much appreciated and utilized by Sterling Scholar recipients.

Since its inception, the program has expanded from its origins in Salt Lake City to include five region-wide competitions throughout the state that continues to publicly recognize outstanding seniors and encourage academic excellence.

The program began in the early 1960’s, when Steve Hale, a Deseret News columnist; Lavor Chaffin, an education reporter at the Deseret News; and Keith West, the Deseret News director of marketing, realized that while their newspaper had been recognizing outstanding athletes for years, there was no mechanism in place to recognize outstanding scholars. Together, with the Utah Board of Education, they developed the Sterling Scholars program.

We applaud all those who labor to make this program a reality each year. The parents and teachers of all nominees have dedicated untold hours to ensure the success of these students. We give a heartfelt thanks to all who have donated so much time and energy into providing this opportunity for the best and brightest in Utah.

The Kanab High School Sterling Scholars include Jacob Bischoff-Computer Technology; Jake Church-Agricultural Science; Kevin Clarkson-Mathematics; Lexie Dalton-Social Science; Emmorie Decker-Visual Arts; Jace Reidhead-Business and Marketing; Cade Szymanski-Music; Brinley Unsworth-General Scholarship.

Sterling Scholars representing Valley High School are Robert Beardall-Skilled and Technical Sciences; Kacie Rae Cox-Business and Marketing; Daniel Larmore-Computer Technology; Abigayle Nelson-Music; Florence Staples-Speech and Drama.

Bryce Valley Sterling Scholars are Ian Johnson-Music and Kwincey Mortensen-Agricultural Science.

Water Canyon High School Sterling Scholars include Celesta Barlow-English; Collette Barlow-Computer Technology; Lydia Barlow-General Scholarship; Dusti Bistline-Visual Arts.

Congratulations to all the nominees and we wish you the best in all your future endeavors.

The annual banquet will not be held and has been cancelled for this year. The announcement of winners will be done at a later date.

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