Who is Eligible?
The Sterling Scholar Awards are open to Utah public high school students in line to graduate in the current school year from a Utah public high school. It is expected that each school will nominate one candidate in any of the 14 categories. Each school may nominate only one nominee in each of the 14 categories and a nominee may be nominated in only one category. The selection and nomination process of a potential Sterling Scholar is left entirely up to each high school. Sterling Scholar officials consider a nominee a high school student if he/she will be graduating during the year 2024. A student can only be a Sterling Scholar applicant for one participating Sterling Scholar High School.
High school students who attend college classes full or part-time or are classified as foreign exchange nominees are eligible for the Sterling Scholar Awards. However, the program is designed to recognize scholastic achievement in Utah public high schools. To be selected as a Sterling Scholar nominee, students must have extraordinary scholarship scores as well as service in leadership and community service/citizenship opportunities at their Utah public high school. It is up to each school to determine if an individual has been in attendance enough to experience these leadership and community service/citizenship opportunities. Each Sterling Scholar nominee’s entire school experience will be considered, although emphasis will be placed on the high school years. High school officials are urged to nominate scholars for categories in which the nominees are genuinely interested and qualified.
Judging & Qualifications
Each nominee will be required to complete an electronic portfolio containing a Release Form, a photo, category-based showpiece items and other required information. (Please see “Guidelines for Preparing Portfolios”). Judging will be based on portfolios, exhibits and personal interviews that demonstrate excellence in the following areas:
SCHOLARSHIP (20 points). A nominee’s overall GPA, difficulty of class schedule, and similar scholarship items attained during high school will be used to establish points for Scholarship.
CATEGORY EXPERTISE (20 points). Emphasis is placed on the nominee’s ability and talent in their specific category. While judges seek evidence of growth and service in all activities, the nominee’s talent and aptitude within their category will receive particular emphasis.
LEADERSHIP (20 points). The qualities of leadership in Utah public high schools can be measured in part by the responsibilities placed on a nominee by his/her teachers and fellow nominees. However, evidence of positive influence with fellow nominees also shall be considered an indication of leadership.
COMMUNITY SERVICE/CITIZENSHIP (20 points). Each Sterling Scholar nominee should exhibit a record of high standards of citizenship throughout his/her high school years. Service to school, community or other organizations will be considered. The nominee’s attitude toward the acceptance of responsibility in contribution roles, as well as seeking out service opportunities, will be especially important. Evidence of a long-term commitment to service will also receive particular attention.
INTERVIEW (20 points). Semi-finalist and Finalist Judging. During the interview, judges will evaluate the nominee’s ability to answer questions pertaining to their category. Body language, technical knowledge, communication skills, professional appearance and plans for continued education in the category will all be included in the interview point assessment.
NOTE: Upon entering the building for semi-final or final interviews, any interview exhibits, displays and/or artwork MUST be limited to what can be carried in the arms of the nominee without the help of others. (Parents, fellow nominees, etc. may not assist in any way.) Nominees may not use carts or similar devices. Accompanists may only stay during the performance portion of the interview and must leave the room upon conclusion of the performance.
ENGLISH – For scholarship and achievement in one or more of the following areas: creative writing, English, journalism, literature and related subjects. Two examples of work either published or prepared as classroom assignments must be submitted. There will be an additional four portfolio pages allowed for this submission. The quality of thought, maturity, originality and technical skill will be considered.
MATHEMATICS – For scholarship and achievement in mathematics and related areas. Scholars may exhibit outstanding records in mathematics competitions and evidence of potential contributions to mathematical knowledge. Nominees should be prepared to calculate a mathematical equation(s) in the judging interviews. Nominees should submit state and national math scores and other standardized mathematics test scores.
SOCIAL SCIENCE – For scholarship and achievement in one or more of the following areas: American government, geography, history, economics, social issues, world affairs and/or related subjects. Scholars should have a broad background in the social sciences and demonstrate, exemplify and practice good citizenship. The nominees may have shown inventiveness in relating social studies to existing problems and in translating concepts into experiment.
SCIENCE – For scholarship and achievement in advanced work, inventiveness or outstanding service in one or more of the following areas: biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, health science, science and related subjects. Imagination, originality or special contributions will receive major consideration in judging.
WORLD LANGUAGES – For outstanding scholarship and persistence in the study of a world language. Nominee should have made unusual contributions to the field of world language study or demonstrated increasing interest in such studies at their school. Rankings received in world language festivals should be submitted. Nominees should also submit a brief resume of language projects or adventures in which they have participated. Nominees should be prepared to demonstrate their ability to communicate in the language by speaking, listening, reading and writing. For languages lacking a written component (for example American Sign Language and some native American languages) the written component may be replaced by a translation, interpretation or literature exercise that demonstrates skills in grammar, syntax, and artistic forms. NOTE: World Language includes any language, other than English, offered for credit in the general curriculum (not as an independent study) of any high school, college or university within the state of Utah. A foreign-born nominee attending an English-speaking high school may not use English or their native tongue as a “foreign language.” Candidates may NOT compete in a language spoken in their home (native language). Deaf nominees, for whom ASL is their first language, are considered native language users. Children of Deaf Parents are considered in the same manner as children of first generation native world language users.
COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY – For outstanding scholarship and achievement in one or more of the following areas: Computer programming, interfacing, networking, repair, construction, design and illustration, media and multi-media, or other related fields. The nominee may have won awards or recognitions, implemented their skills in behalf of their school and community or demonstrated innovative progress in their field. Nominees are not expected to have experience in all listed fields, but expertise in at least one discipline.
SKILLED AND TECHNICAL SCIENCES EDUCATION – For outstanding scholarship and achievement in one or more of the following areas: Agriculture sciences, automotive services, automotive collision repair, cabinetmaking/millwork, carpentry, cosmetology/barbering, drafting/CADD, graphics/printing technology, law enforcement, machinist technician/CNC, welding, film making and other related fields. The nominee may have won awards in competitions, devised equipment or materials for school use or shown unusual progress in this study. Nominees are not expected to have experience in all listed fields, but expertise in at least one discipline.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES – For outstanding scholarship and achievement in one or more of the following areas: child development and care, interior design, family living, food and nutrition, culinary arts, clothing and fashion and other life skills. Nominees are not expected to have experience in all listed fields, but expertise in at least one discipline. Nominees may have won awards in youth organizations, other competitions or may have used skills to render service to their school, church or other organizations.
BUSINESS AND MARKETING – Demonstrate a high level of scholarship and achievement in one or more of the following areas: Business management, non-profit management, accounting, entrepreneurship, sales, marketing and other fields related to business occupations. Nominees may have won awards in competitions or exhibited proficiency in working with or in small or large businesses. Nominees may have held elected offices, captainships, and other evidences of peer acknowledged leadership. Nominees are also encouraged to provide evidence of successful outside activities that support business career development and interests. Evidence of excellence in standardized test scores, GPA, class ranking, IB classes and quantitative AP courses should be provided.
SPEECH/THEATER ARTS/FORENSICS – For scholarship and achievement in one or more area of speech, theater arts and Forensics: debate, public speaking, oral interpretation, and/or (non-musical) theater. Nominees are not expected to have experience in all listed fields, just expertise in at least one discipline. Nominees should include in their portfolios two examples of their work or descriptions of their activities related to this category. Where possible, students are encouraged to submit their student record of accomplishments from the National Forensics League and/or International Thespian Society. They should also be prepared to give a brief demonstration of a past speech and theater arts performance, appropriate to their specialty, approximately two to three minutes in length. (Nominees should not be discouraged if judges interrupt the performance so that they can continue the interview.)
VOCAL PERFORMANCE - For demonstrating outstanding scholarship and achievement in one or more of the areas of musical theatre, opera, or vocal performance. Exceptional talent in composition will be considered, but service to school or community through this talent also will be among determining qualifications. Nominees are not expected to have experience in all listed fields, just expertise in at least one discipline. Nominees should include in their portfolios two examples of their work or descriptions of their activities related to this category. They should also be prepared to give a brief demonstration of their talent appropriate to their specialty, approximately two to three minutes in length. Nominees are allowed to bring pre-recorded accompaniment but must supply all the necessary equipment for playback purposes. (Nominees should not be discouraged if judges interrupt the performance so that they can continue the interview.)
VISUAL ARTS – For scholarship and achievement in creative expression in one of more of the following areas: drawing, artistic photography, commercial art, mixed media, graphic art, painting, sculpture and related fields. The nominee may have demonstrated professional potential in one or more disciplines, contributed outstanding service to the school and successfully completed in district and state art shows. Nominees are allowed to display actual artwork during judging but only if the piece can be carried without assistance of any kind. Visual arts nominees must show some examples of artwork in their portfolio.
INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC – Nominee demonstrates outstanding scholarship and achievement in one or more of the areas of music. Exceptional talent in composition will be considered, but service to school or community through this talent also will be among determining qualifications. Nominees should be prepared to demonstrate their musical talent during a period of two to three minutes by performing with an instrument. (Nominees should not be discouraged if judges interrupt the performance so that they can continue the interview.)
DANCE – For demonstrating exceptional skill, achievement and creative expression in artistic dance (ballroom dance included). Portfolios should include training received, dances choreographed, major performances and dance service rendered to the school or community. Nominees should be prepared to demonstrate their technique and choreographic skills by performing a self-choreographed solo composition, approximately two minutes in length. Nominees will also be asked to respond to an improvisational problem during part of the interview. No performance videos required – but should be included in the electronic portfolio. (Nominees should not be discouraged if judges interrupt the performance so that they can continue the interview.)
Box Elder High School Deadlines
The following deadlines are firm. If you are applying to be a Sterling Scholar, be sure you can commit to turning in quality work by each date.
TUESDAY, OCT 10, 2023 after school (2:20 pm) in room V-6 – A meeting will be held for students who are interested in Sterling Scholar. If you cannot make the meeting, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I can get information to you.
FRIDAY, OCT 27, 2023 – Student application submission deadline for BEHS
OCT 30-NOV 10, 2023 – Departments will review student applications/transcripts. Departments may conduct interviews but this is not a requirement in the selection process. Departments will pick a finalist.
TUESDAY, NOV. 14, 2023 - BEHS Sterling Scholar winners announced.
WEDNESDAY NOV 29, 2023 - BEHS Sterling Scholar Deadline for submission of “Student/Parent Declaration Form” to Sarah Bliesner, Room V-6.
WEDNESDAY, JAN 3, 2024 - Portfolios must be submitted through the Sterling Scholar Website.
Wasatch Front Region
Please contact Sarah Bliesner with questions.