Sterling Scholars on the road to success |

Sterling Scholars on the road to success

Sterling Scholars are: Back row left to right Chase Thomas, Scott Ruhnau, Paul Madsen, Josh Brothers, Kevin Thompson, Tyler Anderson, Jeff Douglas, Austin Warner,

Park City High School has chosen this year’s crop of Sterling Scholars, students who excel in specific areas of study, ranging from foreign language to business. A program sponsored by the Deseret Morning News and KSL, Sterling Scholars is a competition among students for cash prizes and scholarships at Utah colleges. Participating high schools nominate one senior in each of up to 14 categories. This year, Park City has 12 nominees. From that nominee pool, one winner and two runners up are selected for each region of the state. Summit County schools are in the Northeast Region of the competition, which encompasses Rich, Morgan, Wasatch, Duchesne, Daggett, and Uintah counties as well. There are 14 high schools in this region. Park City teachers Mary Purzycki and Maureen Amendola will spend the next few months helping students develop portfolios and polish their interview skills for the competition next spring. The best part of working with Sterling Scholars is "getting to know the kids," Purzycki said. "It’s amazing to see what they’ve done and how they did it." Creating portfolios is useful training for other scholarship competitions, college applications, and even job applications, Purzycki said. Tyler Anderson

Social studies

Anderson enjoys learning how societies functioned in the past,

"I am, myself, responsible for my own actions, creating my own success and failure," Anderson said. He plans to study economics or journalism at Grinnell College in Iowa. He’s editor in chief of the school’s newspaper, The Prospector, and co-captain of the Academic Decathlon team. His career goal is to become a foreign correspondent for The New York Times. Josh Brothers English

Brothers enjoys writing fiction and reading from the "great authors of the world." His life goals are to write professionally and travel the world.

"Life is an instrument. Play it!" said Brothers, an Eagle Scout.

He’s planning to double major in music and English/journalism at a variety of colleges in-state. Valerie Coleman Foreign language

A native Guatemalan, Coleman has always understood the importance of learning languages. She speaks three.

"It’s essential to be able to communicate with people, especially when they don’t speak the same language," Coleman said. "So the more versatile I become, the easier it will be to understand and communicate with people from different cultures."

Coleman plans to study international business so she can continue using her language skills.

Her philosophy is, "Cherish and enjoy life because it can all change in a fraction of a second." Christina Crowder Music

Crowder has been a member of the Utah Ambassadors of Music, which traveled to Europe and performed in places like the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. She received a superior at the Utah State Solo and Ensemble Festival, and she was the concert mistress for the high school’s symphony orchestra for 2004-05.

"I like being able to be a performer as well as a teacher because in both aspects, I am able to inspire people," Crowder said.

Crowder plans to study at Brigham Young University and wants to become a symphony orchestra conductor. Jeff Douglas Science

Douglas wants to develop technology that makes "our world more like science fiction." He plans to study physics at Northern Arizona University.

"I love learning about how the world works and how it might be changed in the future," Douglas said.

His advice to others is, "Don’t be addicted to sadness." Paul Madsen Speech and drama

Madsen wants to become a professional actor, and has studied at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He plans to study theatre at Brigham Young University.

"I love the feeling of making people happy through performance and every once in a while, teaching them something," Madsen said.

His philosophy is, "Be the best person you can, in every way." Scott Ruhnau General

Ruhnau is a National Merit semi-finalist, is in the top 10 percent of his class, an AP Scholar with Distinction, and has participated in the high school’s track, cross country, and football.

"My category encompasses a broad range of things which allows me to demonstrate all of my abilities," Ruhnau said.

Runhau wants to become a doctor, after studying physics at a private Christian college. His philosophy is "Follow God." Chase Thomas Dance

Thomas won the Best of Utah 2004 award for the performing group category, and he danced in the 2002 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony. He’s also an Eagle Scout and has a black belt tae kwon doe.

"I enjoy dancing and performing," Thomas said. "I have performed for many years and I love it."

After high school, Thomas plans to serve a mission for the LDS Church and study international business at Brigham Young University. Thomas’ philosophy toward life is, "work hard and be persistent." Kevin Thompson Business and marketing

President of the Park City Future Business Leaders of America, Thompson wants to earn a master’s in international business and own his own multi-national firm.

"There is absolutely never a reason to give up on anything," Thompson said.

Thompson enjoys using PowerPoint and other applications to show his business skills.

"It comes natural to me," Thompson said. Kimberly Tosti Family/consumer science Tosti plans to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. An accomplished designer, Tosti has coordinated two fashion shows for "Jessie’s Lingerie" and taught two classes for the high school’s fashion design class. "I love designing fashions and coordinating shows," Tosti said. "It makes me feel like I know what I’m doing! And the cooking! Oh I love to eat."

Tosti’s career goal is to become a famous fashion designer or singer. "I shoot high," she said. "College is a definite must." Angela Van Atta Mathematics

Manager of the high school’s math lab, Van Atta appreciates the straightforwardness of mathematics.

"There is always a right answer no maybes or sort ofs so I always have something to work towards," Van Atta said.

Van Atta has logged in more than 200 community service hours in high school. She wants to be an astrophysicist and "study the heavens" on board the international space station. She plans to study astronomy and physics at Northern Arizona University.

"Aim for the moon, at least if you miss, you will still land among the stars," Van Atta said. Austin Warner Visual arts

Austin Warner’s goal is to have a career he enjoys using his art skills, after studying graphic design in college.

"I like visual arts because I enjoy creating and doing what’s never been done," Warner said.

Warner’s accomplishments also include an Eagle Scout award, participation in AP studio art, and winning second-place in a team triathlon event. "If you’re happy, you’re doing what’s right," Warner said.

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