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Juliann Marrott, PCHS senior visual art candidate, presents her project to judges, (l-r) Virgil Jacobsen, Katie Campbell and Kent Wallis, during the Sterling Scholar competition Monday at Wasatch High School. Christopher Reeves/The Park Record

Students from around the region gathered at Wasatch High School Monday morning to compete in the Northeast Sterling Scholar competition.

The event that ran late into the night was concluded after winners were announced in the 14 separate categories entered by 150 students.

According to Nancy Michalko, scholarship advisor at Park City High School, the event, sponsored by KSL Broadcast Group, recognizes outstanding students who are nominated by teachers and administration from high schools around the state.

"While only a few will receive the highest recognition, it is still an honor to be nominated," Michalko said.

Students from the following school districts participated in the event: Park City, Morgan, North Summit, South Summit, Wasatch, Rich, Tabiona, Uintah, Altamont, Grantsville Union, Duchesne, Wendover and Dugway.

The purpose of the competition is to publicly recognize and encourage the pursuit of excellence in scholarship, leadership, and citizenship of high school seniors in the state of Utah, according to the Sterling Scholar website.

Students had the month of March to prepare portfolios from one of the 14 categories provided by judges. Interviews were conducted by competition judges who graded students' demonstration of leadership, community service/citizenship and interviewing skills.

Morgan Mitchell, PCHS senior who competed in the computer science category, said the exhausting experience was a great way to conclude her run at the high school.

"This is a different type of exhaustion, in a literal sense, mostly from the extensive interviewing during the competition," Mitchell said. "There is a lot of preparation that goes into this competition, and with graduation getting closer, it's hard not to slip into senioritis mode. "

Mitchell finished with first-place honors in her category, along with fellow PCHS senior Alexandria Redd, who was selected first for her dance presentation.

"I was a little nervous going into the competition, considering the caliber of students competing from around the state. Knowing all of my hard work paid off was the best feeling late last night. I am still exhausted," Mitchell said in an interview before class Tuesday morning.

Categories consisted of: skilled and technical science, business, English, music, science, visual arts, speech and drama, computer science, family and consumer science, mathematics, general, dance and social science.

Each winner and runners-up received a cash award and full tuition for the state college or university in Utah of his/her choice. If the students decide to attend school out of state, the tuition is forfeited, according to Michalko.

Other first place winners in the Park City area were: Maren Davis, music, SSHS; Brett Weller, business and marketing, SSHS; Ashlyn Judd, skilled and technical, NSHS. Runner-ups were: Juliann Marrott, visual arts, PCHS; and Conner Schacherer, social science, PCHS.