Seven students from Hillcrest High, two from Alta High and one student from Jordan High are anxiously awaiting word about whether they’ve been chosen for the prestigious honor. The National Merit Scholarship Committee is scheduled in the coming weeks to mail scholarship offers to winners at their homes and notices to high school principals.
The students were recently announced as finalists in the 58th annual competition. The high-achieving students are among the approximately 16,000 students nationwide to earn finalist status by demonstrating scholastic excellence, leadership capability and involvement in school activities and clubs.
The students have already advanced through two rounds of judging. The primary round, announced in September, awarded the students semifinalist status. As finalists, they are vying for 8,300 scholarships collectively worth about $32 million. The students are:
Hillcrest High School
Cory D. Goates
Aaron A. Johnson
Micah R. Johnston
John R. Morrell
Jarom T. Norris
Caius S. Worthen
Alta High School
Jordan High School
About 1.5 million juniors in about 22,000 high schools entered the competition by taking the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, the initial screen of the applicants. Students also must submit an essay, be recommended by the high school principal, and demonstrate leadership at school and in the community.
The award was announced Wednesday, March 13, 2013 by the national Sunshine Review, an honor provided to just 247 governmental entities.
"The Sunny Awards recognize governments that make transparency a priority," said Michael Barnhart, President of Sunshine Review, a national non-profit organization that advocates for transparency in government. The winners of the Sunny Awards are cities, counties and school districts that proactively share the public information that empowers citizens and keeps government accountable to the people."
More than 7,000 governmental Web sites nationwide were graded based on Sunshine Review's 10-point Transparency Checklist. Just 1,000 earning a top grades on the 2013 Transparency Report Card had a shot at a Sunny Award. Canyons received an A+ on the report card.
The Youth Symphony of about 80 sixth- through ninth-graders are practicing an arrangement of Giaochino Rossini's William Tell Overture, which they'll perform with the all-volunteer, Sandy-based American West Symphony in a joint concert April 22 at 7 p.m. at Butler Middle School.
"I feel it is a great opportunity for our students to see they can continue to express themselves through music during their whole lifetime. They become more aware of performance opportunities beyond high school and college and that will motivate them to practice more," Canyons Art Consortium Chairwoman Sharee Jorgensen said.
The Canyons Youth Symphony is an audition-only after-school program. Its conductors are Jenni Perkins, Albion Middle; Keith Davis, Butler Middle; and Lena Wood, Midvale Middle. The American West Symphony directed by Joel Rosenberg.
"Of all the community outreach we do, the mentorship with the Canyons Youth Symphony is the one our musicians enjoy the most," said American West Symphony Board Chairwoman Charlotte Jordan. "The proud smiling faces of the young musicians show the incredible power of sharing the gift of music."
"(Henrichsen) is a shining star," Deputy State Superintendent Brenda Hales said. "This is a young man whose kids have apps that are actually in use right now on your phones."
Hales' comments came at the March 8, 2013 State Board of Education meeting, in which Henrichsen was honored for his outstanding service to students in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields. There, the 2012 CTEC Teacher of the Year and CTEC Shining Star Award-winner was honored for his innovative practices, integrating STEM subjects in his classroom, and preparing students for the high-tech workforce of tomorrow.
Said Henrichsen, when asked what motivates him and an educator:
"When a student is able to create a computer program that at first does not perform as expected, and then is able to identify why it's acting incorrectly and fix that problem, it shows the student has developed the resilience needed to fail – because failure is part of learning – and to continue as well with the knowledge to correct the mistake and learn even more as they use that knowledge."
Kehl, a graduate of Brighton High and Brigham Young University, spent an hour with the students on Monday, March 11, 2013, urging them to set challenging goals — and then press forward with diligence and determination until the mission is accomplished.
The National Football League star, who was recruited by Oregon, Utah State, Harvard, Yale and Idaho State, told students that although he was a standout football player, he was cut from his school basketball team several times before he made it. Each time he didn’t make the team, Kehl said, he vowed to work extra hard in the next 365 days to improve his jump shots, rebounding skills and free throws.