Grand’s two winners were Adam Jenkinson in General Scholarship and Justin Cresswell in Visual Arts.
The six runners-up from Grand were Brendon Henderson (Speech and Drama), Jessica Valdes (Social Science), Sarah Stalpes (Family and Consumer Science), Becca Farnsworth (English), Jacob Francis (Trade and Technology), and Deanna Irvin (Science).
Grand fielded a dozen nominees, one for each of the 12 categories at the competition, which featured a total of 57 high school seniors from the southeast Utah, including students from Grand, Whitehorse, Monument Valley, San Juan, Monticello, Carbon and Emery high schools.
Each category had one winner and two runners-up, who will be eligible to receive various awards and scholarships, which typically range from a one-year to four-year tuition scholarships at colleges and universities throughout Utah, according to GCHS teacher Melissa Meldrum, who served as the group’s adviser.
The day of the competition represented the culmination of months of hard work for the Sterling Scholar nominees, who had put together detailed portfolios of their accomplishments and were subjected to rigorous interviews by the judges. The competition took place at the USU Eastern campus.
“There were some really strong nominees in my category, so I was a little nervous, but I went in with confidence,” said Jenkinson, who has been accepted to attend prestigious Yale University in Connecticut starting this fall.
Cresswell, who specializes in drawing and painting using a variety of media, said he is considering attending Snow College, Utah State University, or Brigham Young University.
“It was extremely nerve-racking sitting there waiting, and it felt like time just slowed down,” said Henderson, adding, “When I heard my name called it was a huge relief because it let me know that all of my hard work paid off.”
The other four students who represented Grand at the 2014 competition were Music nominee Mercedes James; Foreign Language nominee Anna Scherer; Business and Marketing nominee Layton Call, and Mathematics nominee Joseph Andrew.
GCHS Principal Stephen Hren expressed his appreciation for every one of the 12 students who represented Grand County High.
“Thank you for representing yourselves and our school with dignity and pride. I am proud of all of you,” Hren said in a written announcement to the students on Wednesday.