It is time, once again, to recognize some of the excellent young women and men of Morgan County as we spotlight Morgan High School’s Sterling Scholars. The Sterling Scholar program’s purpose is to publicly recognize and encourage the pursuit of excellence in scholarship, leadership, and citizenship of high school seniors in the state of Utah.
Preparation for the Northeastern region of this prestigious competition is currently underway at Morgan High School. In November, 14 seniors that have demonstrated excellence in scholarship, leadership, and citizenship were selected to represent Morgan in the areas of English, Science, Mathematics, Social Science, Foreign Language, Music, Speech and Drama, Computer Technology, Trade and Technical Education, Dance, Business and Marketing, Family and Consumer Science, Visual Arts, and General.
For the past few months, each sterling scholar has been preparing a portfolio of their greatest achievements in their respective area to take to the region competition on April 19th in hopes of receiving an even greater honor, being named a Region Sterling Scholar.
The Morgan County News will be spotlighting Morgan High School’s 14 incredible scholars and their commitment to excellence, over the coming weeks. The first Four are spotlighted this week:
Scholar: Rebecca Rees
Rebecca is the daughter of Stan and Kendra Rees. Besides the good opportunity to obtain scholarship money and improve her growing resume, Rebecca’s passion for families and children led her to apply for the program. She sums it up best saying, “I love working with others, and I enjoy everything that’s involved with service.”
Some of her greatest achievements include: a 2nd place finish in the 2009 3A State Soccer tournament, 1st team All-State Soccer, 2010 3A Defensive Player of the Year (Deseret News), and her 3.8 GPA.
Not only has she added to resume through the program, she’s learned a lot too. “I’ve learned that it takes a lot of focus to [meet] the high expectations of a Sterling Scholar,” says Rebecca, “hard work is a key part in being successful”.
After graduation, she plans to attend college at Utah State University, major in Elementary Education, and maybe even start a small photography business someday.
Scholar: Samuel Abplanalp
Sam is the son of Steven and Chamen Abplanalp. Sam’s desire to become a Sterling Scholar came as a freshman. He greatly enjoyed his science classes and wanted to take that enjoyment and make something out of it, so he began preparing.
His passion for science came during a lab, during which he watched an amoeba move around and absorb other cells. It led him to realize that there is a microscopic world that affects us. The study of endless galaxies, space, and his understanding of man’s small role in the universe also contributed to his desire to pursue science.
Some of Sam’s greatest achievements include: being a Student Body Officer, Academic Decathalon (he’s won nine medals), Science Olympiad Captain, Eagle Scout, and being named the Energy Solutions Scholarship Winner. He attributes this success to the program saying,”It has allowed me to become involved in my school and community, [as well as] do better in academics”.
Sam plans to attend Utah State University and major in Biochemistry or go into a Pre-Medical program.
Scholar: Emmalee Barajas
Speech and Drama
Emmalee is the daughter of Juan and Vicky Barajas. Her love for all things drama came when she was little, “I loved performing on stage for people…being able to have fun, let loose, and express myself on stage, it just makes me feel good about myself and I love it,” says Emmalee.
Not only does our speech and drama scholar impress on stage, she excels out of the theatre as well. Her greatest achievements include: her 3.9 GPA, 2010 Girl’s Track 1600 M. Region Champion, Utah Ambassador of Music 2009, 2010 Cross Country Academic All-State award, and being a National Honor Society Officer for the 2010-2011 school year.
According to Emmalee, the Sterling Scholar program has allowed her to reach her goals as well as helped her to strive to do her best and be a good role model to her peers.
After graduation she plans to attend Westminster College and participate in their cross country and track programs. As for her future career, Emmalee hopes to enter the medical field through the school’s nursing program.
Scholar: Matt Dicou
Business and Marketing
Matt is the son of Brent and Laylene Dicou. During 8th grade, Matt started a lawn mowing business. This small start led him to joining the Future Business Leaders of America club. These two experiences combined have taught him life skills as well as business skills side by side, instilling in him a passion for his Sterling Scholar area. “I wanted to be the Business and Marketing Sterling Scholar because of my interest in business and the likelihood that I will go into a business-related field,” says Matt.
Some of his greatest achievements thus far include: his attendance of the Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference, earning his Eagle Scout at age 14, maintaining High Honor Roll requirements throughout entire high school career, position as Future Business Leaders of America Chapter President, and service as a National Honor Society Vice-President.
Matt believes that his participation as a Sterling Scholar will “open doors for [him]”, and he’s right. This summer he plans to get his Associate’s Degree from Weber State University and in the fall he will attend Brigham Young University where he will work toward getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and following that a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.