It was a big night for arts education. Three talented Canyons District artists walked away winners from the 2018 Sterling Scholar Awards, an academic excellence contest sponsored by the Deseret News and KSL Broadcast Group.

Brighton High’s Sofia Rahaniotis was named Utah’s Sterling Scholar in the Speech, Theatre and Arts category, Alta High’s Addie Wray won the Music and category, and Hillcrest High’s Kara Komarnitsky won in Dance. They were joined on the podium by two Hillcrest Huskies who were named runners-up in the academic-excellence program: Sterling Larson in the World Languages category and Alex Sun in Science.

Rahaniotis, Ray and Komarnitsky were among 11 CSD students to be named finalists in Utah's Sterling Scholar competition, which honors students “for the pursuit of excellence in scholarship, leadership and citizenship.”  They each received $2,500 scholarships, and runners-up received $1,000 scholarships.

A member of the Brighton’s nationally-recognized Model United Nations team, Rahaniotis was previously awarded Brigham Young University’s Model United Nations Distinguished Delegation Award and Peer Award. She has a 4.0 grade point average, ranks first in her class, and is senior class President. She has volunteered for the Road Home homeless shelter, the American Red Cross, the Tyler Robinson Foundation, and many other charities. “To learn from, teach and inspire through art for which I feel such indescribable passion is to me the pinnacle of happiness,” she says. “I’m among those who are fortunate enough to experience such unmatched artistic joy and for this, I am truly thankful.”

Komarnitsky has performed for Salt Lake’s Repertory Dance Theatre and has been the President of Hillcrest’s dance company for three years. She spent more than 50 hours with the Washington State Trails Association rebuilding a handicap access trail, she tutors students in biology and French and holds a black belt in taekwondo. “Challenge is the method to reach future growth,” she says, “and dance challenges me to grow in different ways every day.”

Alta’s Addie Wray has played the leading role in three musicals. By age 11, she had performed in two professional shows. She has donated her time to support programs for people with special needs and says, “Vocal performing is something I was born to do, that I live, love and breathe eternally.” 
In recognition for their pursuit of excellence in scholarship, leadership and citizenship, 22 Canyons District students have been named as finalists in the 2016 Sterling Scholar competition. The final interviews were Tuesday at Corner Canyon High.

In addition to public recognition, many of these outstanding high school seniors will receive cash scholarships and tuition waivers from area colleges and universities. Good luck to these exemplary students:

Business & Marketing

Jared Sagae, Corner Canyon High

Wylie Kimball, Jordan High

Brooke Ricks, Brighton High

Computer Technology

Jacob Williams, Hillcrest High

Joseph Hawkins, Alta High

Dance

Amber Lelegren, Alta High

English

Madelyn O'Farrell, Corner Canyon High

Helen Schroeder, Hillcrest High

Family & Consumer Studies

Hannah Caplin, Corner Canyon High

Kimberly Fenstermaker, Hillcrest High

Instrumental Music

Katie Ann Powell, Hillcrest High

Mathematics

Jake Perry, Corner Canyon High

Anthony Cheng, Hillcrest High

Science

Nityam Rathi, Hillcrest High

Skilled Technical Sciences Education

Sadie Lee Chidester, Corner Canyon High

Dale Schlachter, Hillcrest High

Social Science

Sophie Will, Corner Canyon High

Speech, Theater Arts, Forensics

Ian Buckley, Hillcrest High

Vocal Performance

Alexandra Palmer, Hillcrest High

Abigail Fryer, Brighton High

World Languages

Camden Seeborg, Corner Canyon High

Madeline Talbot, Hillcrest High

Two Canyons District students were golden in their efforts to become Sterling Scholars, an annual competition of academic achievement sponsored by the Deseret News and KSL-TV Channel 5.
 
Hillcrest High's David Sagae was announced as the overall winner in Business and Marketing, and Jordan High's Tanner Nelson topped the competition in World Languages.
 
Sagae, son of Joaquim and Caroline Sagae, is ranked No. 22 in a graduating class of 483 students. His overall GPA is 3.997, and he earned a 32 composite score on the ACT. Sagae’s awards and accomplishments include first place in FBLA Business Communication in the Metro Region; first place in FBLA Global Business; first place Future Business Leader; and founder of trialsizedonations.org, a Web site dedicated to collecting travel-size toiletries for organizations that help low-income families.   
 
Nelson, son of Karl and Amy Nelson, is ranked No. 1 out of a 485-student graduating class.  His GPA is a 4.0, and he earned a 28 composite score on the ACT.  He received an academic letter in foreign language, is the Spanish Club President, served as the team captain for the sophomore football team, and participated in Brigham Young University’s Language Bowl.
 
The winners were announced Wednesday, March 12, 2014. Some 1,000 students across the state vied for the prestigious awards.
 
Sterling Scholars were named in 14 categories: Business and Marketing, Computer Technology, Dance, English, Family and Consumer Science, Instrumental Music, Mathematics, Science, Skilled and Technical Sciences, Social Science, Speech/Theater Arts/Forensics, Visual Arts, Vocal Performance and World Languages.