Grand County High’s students will be competing against dozens of other seniors from high schools throughout southeastern Utah, according to GCHS Sterling Scholar adviser Cari Caylor.
The students will be vying for various scholarships and awards offered by various in-state colleges and universities. Some institutions offer full scholarships to winners, while other schools offer lesser awards to winners, runners-up, and nominees.
This year’s GCHS Sterling Scholar competitors are as follows:
Morning Dove Hansen (Trade and Technology) is the daughter of Pam Hansen and Ginger Stephens. Hansen has spent a great deal of time developing her skills as an artist, creator, builder and student, and has participated in several precision production trades classes throughout high school, including photography, jewelry, woodworking and technical design. Hansen says she hopes to pursue a degree in engineering, with a focus on environmental engineering. She is currently serving as an intern with a city engineer, surveying and mapping the city culinary water system.
Nikysha Harmison (Science) is the daughter of Kevin and Ninarose Harmison. Harmison has earned her Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification while in high school so that she may work as a CNA during college as she pursues a career in the medical field. Harmison has participated in several science-related activities including Southern Utah University’s Health Career Camp in 2010 and 2012 and the regional Science Olympiad in 2013. She also has served as an intern at Moab Regional Hospital. She is currently president of the school’s National Honor Society chapter and has been involved in drama, participating in all of the musicals and plays the school has performed, and also took part in the region drama competition in 2012.
Kris Kemp (Music) is the son of Michael and Sophie Kemp. Kris has been actively involved in the school’s marching band, concert band, and jazz band. A percussionist, Kemp received superior ratings at the state solo and ensemble festival. He has also performed in school plays and has participated in debate, the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), as well as playing sports such as golf, tennis, and basketball. Kemp currently serves as student body vice president at GCHS. He has volunteered at both the Youth Garden Project and Moab Regional Hospital, where he assists in the physical therapy department. He hopes to pursue a medical degree and become a cardiologist.
Maren Larsen (English) is the daughter of David and Annie Larsen. She says she has had a passion for writing from a young age, has been keeping a journal since seventh grade and gets ideas for short stories from her dreams. Larsen says her philosophy is to participate in activities that she is passionate about, including Earth Club, Art Club, debate, and National Honor Society. A National Merit Scholarship finalist, Larsen also strives to be a leader in everything she does. She says she is passionate about English because she wants to effect change, and effective communication, both oral and written, is a huge part of that.
Torrie Lopez (Foreign Language) is the daughter of Rick and Pam Lopez. She has a passion for Spanish, French, reading, writing, athletics, and traveling. She has participated in Amigos Club, National Honor Society, and drama. Lopez is the current student body president at GCHS, and served as captain for both the tennis and basketball teams. She has volunteered as a mentor at the Moab Valley Multicultural Center. Lopez received varsity letters four times in tennis and basketball and is currently in her fourth varsity year of softball. Lopez enjoys learning about new cultures and lived with a French-speaking family in Switzerland during a month-long exchange program last summer. She has also been involved in Student Action Group, color guard, cheerleading, and FBLA. Other awards Academic All-Region in tennis, and 2A second team All-State in softball.
Macrae Olsen (Mathematics) is the son of David and Trudy Olsen. For Olsen, math does not come easy, he admits. Olsen said he wanted to give up on math his senior year, but his desire to study engineering has made that impossible. He has participated in Science Olympiad competitions, and he built an award-winning trebuchet for a pumpkin launching contest. He also created a weekly math challenge to extend his knowledge and increase his understanding of math. Olsen has been active in serving his community through Boy Scouts, service projects such as mowing lawns at the senior housing center, and bicycle trail building. A leader both in and outside of school, Olsen has participated for the past two years in the Utah Summer Games road cycle races and earned several gold medals.
Jessica Pyatt (Visual Arts) is the daughter of Daniel and Yolanda Pyatt. She is passionate about the arts in all forms. Pyatt says she has taken every art class offered in high school and has submitted various pieces of work for display in art shows. She is a member of the National Honor Society and serves as the president of the school’s Art Club. She has been riding and showing horses since she was 8 years old, and is the 2013 PRCA Rodeo Queen. Pyatt has also served as captain of the girls golf team and manager of the boys golf team for the past two years. She is a certified scuba diver and has traveled extensively, including trips to Chile, Honduras, Mexico and Peru.
Sarah Quigley (Speech and Drama) is the daughter of Brian and Charlotte Quigley. According to Quigley, acting in a performance is like “stepping out of your comfy slippers and stepping into four-inch heels … you try to look great and you just pray you do not fall.” Quigley has participated in several plays and musicals throughout her high school career. Last year, along with others in the high school film club, she assisted with an open casting call for a new Hollywood production of “The Lone Ranger.” Quigley has participated in debate for four years and served as oratory captain. She is a member of the National Honor Society, played soccer, ran track and participated on the swim team.
Mary Rice (General Scholarship) is the daughter of Ross and Kate Rice. Rice is active in debate, cross-country, student government, music, theater and drama, and the school newspaper. She was named GCHS Student of the Year in 2012 and has traveled to other countries to assist those less fortunate. She has served as the captain of her cross-country team, is the current student body public relations officer, and has organized fundraisers to help others around the world. She had a starring role in the school musical last fall and is currently acting in a community theater production. A National Merit Scholarship finalist, Rice also represented the state of Utah at a national journalism conference in Washington, D.C. last summer.
Juniper Roman (Family and Consumer Science) is the daughter of Lisa Roman and the late Greg Roman. She has been involved in various activities throughout high school, including FCCLA since her freshman year. She served as the FCCLA state historian during the 2011-12 school year, and was her school chapter’s president for two years. While in FCCLA, Roman has helped organize events such as a Sew-A-Thon, sewing pillows for the local women’s shelter and pillowcase dresses for girls in Africa, as well as an anti-bullying campaign. She is involved in the National Honor Society, FBLA, and is a writer for the school newspaper. Roman also serves as a student board member of the Moab Community Action Coalition. Proud of her family’s El Salvadoran heritage, Roman says she enjoys making a difference in the world and in other people’s lives.
Donna Snow (Social Science) is the daughter of Wade and Tammy Snow. She organized a mock election at GCHS last fall, in advance of the actual one, and enlisted the help of local election officials. She also encouraged her 18-year-old classmates to register to vote in the real election, and assisted local officials during that election also. Snow has been active in numerous activities throughout high school, including National Honor Society, 4H, Book Club, and FCCLA. She has also played soccer, basketball and softball. In addition, Snow has appeared in high school musical productions, including “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Footloose,” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” Snow received Academic All-Region and All-State in soccer for the 2012 season. Snow says she is passionate about social issues and healthy families and wants to pursue a career in family and consumer science education.