Logan and Box Elder High School seniors win Sterling Scholar Awards

Logan High School made a strong showing at the 2017 <a href=”http://www.sterlingscholar.org/”>Deseret News/KSL Sterling Scholar Awards</a> Thursday night, with two students winning their respective categories of competition in the Wasatch Front Region and a third student being selected as a runner-up.  A student from nearby Box Elder High School was also a competition winner.

“I am absolutely amazed and blessed,” said Victoria Stafford, a winner from Logan High School. “I was sitting with people who are so amazing, and I really didn’t think I would win. I feel very grateful that the judges thought I was deserving of that award. It was the most humbling and incredible experience.”

Randy Cluff, Logan High School’s Sterling Scholar program coordinator, said this year marks a “three-peat” for the school taking the highest honor in the instrumental music competition. He said the win is a reflection of the emphasis on music in the larger community and of the caliber of each of Logan High’s Sterling Scholars. 

“We are extremely proud of them. They are great students and great people,” Cluff said.  “Being able to spend time with them, they’re really fun, and I’ve really enjoyed working with them.”

Cluff said being selected as a Sterling Scholar is a culmination of hard work and talent. He admires the ongoing effort the students put toward excellence and compliments their sustained commitment. 

“They are great,” he said. “They could have slacked off, but they didn’t. They could have just sat around doing nothing, but they didn’t. They’re out doing service. They’re teaching other kids. They’re just giving to the community and really dedicated to the academics and the arts.”

<strong>Representing Logan High School:</strong>

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Emma Cardon, the daughter of Joel and Claire Cardon, was named this year’s Instrumental Music winner. Cardon has a cumulative GPA of 3.993, with a composite score of 31 on the ACT. An accomplished composer, she began playing the piano at the age of four and won her first music competition at age six. She also excels at playing the cello. Cardon is a two-time National YoungArts Foundation Merit Winner in Classical Music Composition and has won four awards in the Music Teacher National Association Student Composition Competition. She has composed music for the American Festival Chorus and is currently compiling a book of piano pieces that she hopes to have published for advanced piano students. Cardon plans to attend Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music, majoring in composition.

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Victoria Stafford, the daughter of Edwin and Betty Stafford, won the Speech/Theater Arts/Forensics category. Stafford is Logan High School’s current speech and debate team president and serves as the policy captain of the school’s debate team. She is also the editor of <em>The Grizzly</em>, Logan High School’s student newspaper and is actively involved with the Logan Environmental Action Force (LEAF) club. With a cumulative GPA of 4.0 and a score of 33 on the ACT, Stafford is weighing college options and is designing a website, <a href=”http://www.thedebateguru.weebly.com/”>www.thedebateguru.weebly.com</a>, for middle school and high school policy debaters. Her future plans include helping improve student access to professional articles and resources and facilitating sustainable environmental policy decisions in developing nations.

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Raymond Li, the son of Yali and Leijun Li, was one of two runners-up in the Science category. Li is a gold medal Academic Olympiad winner, with a silver medal in science. He is also a winner of the Bridgerland Science and Engineering Fair. Li has a cumulative GPA of 4.0.

<strong>Representing Box Elder High School:</strong>

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Laura Dean was selected as the competition’s Vocal Performance winner. She is the daughter of Robert and Margie Dean and lives in Willard. Dean, who has a 4.0 GPA and a composite score of 28 on the ACT, is a two-time winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition. She is also a winner of the Schmidt Youth Vocal Competition and a national semifinalist in the Classical Singer competition. Dean played role of Ariel in Box Elder High School’s 2016 production of <em>The Little Mermaid</em> and is the founder of the In Tune Community Outreach Program, which provides music instruction to disabled elementary school students. She plans to pursue a degree in vocal performance and is considering scholarship options. 

The Wasatch Front region of the statewide Sterling Scholar Awards is comprised of 82 high schools located between Cache and Box Elder counties on the north end and south through Utah County. The competition’s 14 categories include Mathematics, Business &amp; Marketing, Computer Technology, Dance, English, Family &amp; Consumer Sciences, Instrumental Music, Science, Skilled &amp; Technical Sciences, Social Science, Speech/Theater Arts/Forensics, Visual Arts, Vocal Performance and World Languages. Regional winners in each category are eligible for <a href=”http://www.sterlingscholar.org/benefits-2/”>generous scholarships</a> from most Utah colleges and universities, as well as from BYU-Idaho. Some schools also present scholarships to runners-up. The annual Deseret News/KSL Sterling Scholar Awards competition was established in 1962 and recognizes high school seniors for the “pursuit of excellence in scholarship, leadership and citizenship in the State of Utah.”

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