Parkites win Sterling Scholar awards
May 19, 2009
In the high-stakes game of securing money for college, to study science and medicine no less, Amanda Fadling is no stranger. The Park City High School senior has earned her stripes with a litany of university-level classes in chemistry, biology and physics taken during her time at school.
Outside of the classroom, Fadling is equally determined. She teaches science to kids, kindergarten through fifth grade, at Park City Academy. She hopes that teaching, and taking advanced courses, will one day lead to a career in healthcare.
She also just likes being around bright youngsters. "Kids like to play with stuff," Fadling laughed. "Science gets them involved in other aspects of learning."
Fadling is one of five seniors at PCHS to earn money for college through the statewide Sterling Scholar competition. The school fielded four state champions and one runner up. Each year, the program grants scholarships to schools in the state based on resumes, service, study and on-the-spot performance. Instructors select students at each school beginning in the fall. After months of consolidating laundry lists of extra-curricular activities and rehearsal, students took the stage April 21 at Viewmont High School in Vernal.
Fadling, the state winner in science, competed against other students from the eastern reaches of the state. Her academic rigor and commitment to service is a common attribute among her peers. She joined Allison Robbins (speech and drama), Jessie Turner (foreign language) and Tyler Schmauch (math) in the winner’s circle. Ben Portwood placed second in the state for music.
Instructor George Murphy, a Spanish teacher, served as the Sterling Scholar advisor for the first time this year. The talent and achievement of his charges left a lasting impression. "I’m amazed at how talented and well-rounded these kids are," he mused Friday. "These kids have clubs, community service, hands-on work and things my generation didn’t even think to do." Most importantly, he added, "They’re putting into practice what they learn in the classroom."
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A kind of senior-thesis-cum-scrapping-booking project, the Sterling Scholar program lets students showcase what they’ve gleaned from coursework. The competition, which begins with an application process in late fall, spans much of the academic calendar.
Compiling a portfolio took as much expertise in time management as it did in math for Schmauch. For his efforts, he will earn a full tuition scholarship at the University of Utah, where he plans to study physics, Spanish and math. "I like thinking of myself as well-rounded," he said.
Turner, the polyglot who took home top prize in foreign language, said that Sterling Scholar is the first thing she’ll list on her resume, while dancer Jocelyn Shulz described it as a "the cherry on top of all the other things we did."
Rohman, the English Sterling Scholar for PCHS, recommended the program to her underclassmen, especially those who want to stay in state. Although she didn’t win the state competition, she nevertheless nabbed a full ride at Utah State University, where she will pursue restoration ecology. "It was nerve-racking," Rohman admitted. "Go into it with an open mind. You’ll find out so much about yourself."
Ben Portwood: music (runner up)
Allison Robbins: speech (winner)
Amanda Fadling: science (winner)
Jessie Turner: foreign language (winner)
Tyler Schmauch: math (winner)
Kalee Chester: art
Jocelyn Shulz: dance
Amy Rohman: English
Lauren Johnson: social science
Carson Chambers: general scholar