Park City High School names its Sterling Scholars |

Park City High School names its Sterling Scholars

From left, bottom row: Matthew Gustafson, Jack Jorgensen, Amelia Jorgensen, Alexa Kanarowski, Allison Lambert. Middle row: J.T. Harman, Siena Senn, Boyana Martinova, Ian Wagman, Adam Hickey. Top row: Gavin Serr, Nathan Hurner, Eli Levine, Zane Schemmer. Not pictured: Faith Staley

Allison Lambert knew she wanted to apply to be a Sterling Scholar after she saw fellow dance company girls she looked up to being recognized the past two years.

"I really aspired to be like them, so I thought that if I had all of the qualifications to do what they could, I wanted to try," she said.

Lambert did end up having all of the qualifications, and she was named the Sterling Scholar of Dance at Park City High School. She, along with 15 other students, were recognized for academic success and involvement in their respective categories.

The winners at the high school were: Alexa Kanarowski, visual arts; Amelia Jorgensen, skilled and technical science; Jack Jorgensen, vocal performance; Matthew Gustafson, computer technology; J.T. Harman, agricultural science; Siena Senn, general science; Faith Staley, general; Boyana Martinova, English; Ian Wagman, instrumental music; Adam Hickey, social science; Zane Schemmer, math; Eli Levine, business and marketing; Nathan Hurner, world languages; and Gavin Serr, speech/theater/arts/forensics.

The Sterling Scholar program takes place at high schools throughout the state and recognizes seniors for "the pursuit of excellence in scholarship, leadership and citizenship in the State of Utah," according to the Sterling Scholar website. Students are selected at schools and compete in their respective regions for the top position. Finalists receive scholarship opportunities at Utah colleges.

Sterling Scholars are selected at each school by a committee made up of school administration, faculty from each department and the counseling team. Kristin Silvestri, community scholarship advisor, said there were more than 100 applicants in the 16 categories.

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"We had a lot of competition," she said. "A lot of really high-achieving, very involved students, so it made the decision-making very difficult."

Grades, test scores, and community and school involvement are all taken into consideration, and the students this year were all high-achieving, she said.

Lambert appreciated the opportunity to be recognized not only for dance, but for academics and leadership.

"A lot of the time, there is a focus on being really good at one thing," she said. "But even though I'm the Sterling Scholar for dance, to be able to get that, I had to be very well rounded in everything else and I think there's a lot of value in that. It serves you so much better in life than just focusing on one thing."

Adam Hickey said that being named a Sterling Scholar is an honor and is prestigious, but also validating. Since he wants to pursue a career in social sciences, he feels more empowered to do so.

"It means a lot," he said. "It's really motivating and pleasing to be recognized for the work and motivation I have in the category already, and it makes me more confident for pursuing those (jobs) in the future."

Silvestri said that the Sterling Scholar program helps students prepare for college as well. Students must now put together portfolios showcasing their work. They will also spend the next few months preparing for interviews with a panel of judges in March.

"It's just a very high honor to showcase why they are so good in that subject or what their future goals are revolving around," she said. "It's taking what they learned in high school and what they excelled at and taking it to the next level."