Sterling Scholar due today

By: Armando Chicon and Evyn Staheli of The Lion's Roar Newspaper

Sterling Scholar is a prestigious award that provides recognition for high school seniors. This award is found exclusively in Utah and began in 1962. At this time, there was already a program in Utah for recognizing outstanding high school athletes. Deseret News felt as though academia should be recognized on the same scale as athletics. Hence the creation of Sterling Scholar.


The Sterling Scholar program consists of 12 categories: English, Math, Science, Social Science, Business and Marketing, Family and Consumer Science, Skilled and Technical Science, Computer Science, World Languages, Visual Arts, Theater Arts/Speech/Forensics, Vocal Performance, Instrumental Music, and Dance. Each student is allowed to apply for whichever categories they feel fit them and their future goals best.

The senior completes the Sterling Scholar application, which consists of listing leadership roles, activities related to your category, and community service. There is also essay portions where the applicant has to expound on the things listed previously and challenges they might have overcome. All of the things written in the application are supposed to be centered around the category being applied for.


If the senior then wins one of the 12 Sterling Scholars for their school, they move on towards the state competition. The student creates a portfolio for their category which is then judged against other portfolios across the state. If that is then won, the Sterling Scholar moves on to the state-level portion of the competition.


Mrs. Ralph, a Payson High English teacher, gives the advice, “A lot of students do a lot of things and they don’t even put in on Sterling Scholar… Be kind to yourself, showcase yourself.”  Both teachers encourage seniors to really make this application show themselves off and brag about their accomplishments. Mrs. Lotz, the counselor in charge of Sterling Scholar, goes on to emphasize the importance of relating everything in the application back to the category, particularly the community service portion. Ralph defines community service as anything that is orchestrated by the student in any community they’re involved in. Talk to either Ralph or Lotz for more information or guidance with the Sterling Scholar application.