Two GCHS seniors win regional 2013 Sterling Scholar competition
by Jeff Richards
contributing writer
Mar 07, 2013 | 906 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Grand County High School had two winners and six runners-up in the 33rd annual Southeastern Utah Sterling Scholars competition held Tuesday, March 5.

Mary Rice won first place in the General Scholarship category and Jessica Pyatt was the category winner in Visual Arts.

Pyatt, who was one of just three competitors in her category, knew she was assured of at least one of the two runner-up spots.

“I was very excited and nervous when I was up there waiting for them to call the runners-up,” recalled Pyatt, who plans to attend Southern Utah University. “When I didn’t hear my name, I about died because I knew I had won! It was incredible!” added Pyatt, who is the daughter of Dan and Yolanda Pyatt.

Rice, who is the daughter of Ross and Kate Rice, said she is still undecided regarding her future college plans, but has named New York University as well as Salt Lake City’s Westminster College as possible options. Rice has worked as a contributing writer and photographer for The Times-Independent and serves as the school’s public relations officer. Rice also enjoys performing in theatrical roles and is a National Merit Scholarship finalist.

The competition, which took place at the Utah State University Eastern campus in Price, included more than 50 high school seniors competing for top honors in a dozen different categories. Many in-state colleges offer full scholarships to regional Sterling Scholar winners, and some institutions offer partial scholarships and other awards to runners-up.

Earning runners-up honors in their respective categories for Grand County High School were Nikysha Harmison (Science), Maren Larsen (English), Torrie Lopez (Foreign Language), Sarah Quigley (Speech and Drama), Juniper Roman (Family and Consumer Science), and Donna Snow (Social Science).

“I am very proud of all of our students,” GCHS Sterling Scholar adviser Cari Caylor said Tuesday evening. “They all worked very hard and did well in the competition. Their promise and dedication to their education is admirable,” Caylor added.

Roman, who also competed in a category that had just three entrants, said although she was disappointed she didn’t win, she is looking forward to attending Utah Valley University, which does offer four-year scholarships to Sterling Scholar runners-up. Roman, who is the daughter of Lisa Roman and the late Greg Roman, recently won a separate $500 scholarship from the National Association for Multicultural Education, one of four students to earn that statewide honor.

Harmison, the daughter of Kevin and Ninarose Harmison, is already a certified nursing assistant and plans to pursues a career in the medical field. 

Lopez, the daughter of Rick and Pam Lopez, has honed her language skills in both Spanish and French, and spent a month last summer in Switzerland. An accomplished athlete and scholar, Lopez is the current student body president at GCHS.

Larsen, the daughter of David and Annie Larsen, is an avid writer who has worked as a news reporter. She is involved in a variety of clubs and activities at GCHS, including debate, and is a National Merit Scholarship finalist.

Quigley, the daughter of Brian and Charlotte Quigley, also enjoys performing on stage and participating in debate, as well as sports such as soccer and swimming.

Snow, the daughter of Wade and Tammy Snow, has been active in various high school sports and activities, and helped organize a mock election and a voter registration drive last fall. Snow says she hopes to pursue a career in Family and Consumer Science education. 

Also representing Grand at the competition were Kris Kemp (Music), Macrae Olsen (Mathematics), and Morning Dove Hansen (Trade and Technology).

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