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Draper Journal

Former Charger cheerleader named national Student to Celebrate

Aug 28, 2017 04:30PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Corner Canyon High senior Taylor Sampson, who is the yearbook’s photo editor and the student body officer over technology, was named the national Student to Celebrate. (Taylor Sampson/Corner Canyon High School)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

Three years ago, Corner Canyon High senior Taylor Sampson was delivered a devastating blow — a hand injury that ended her eight-year cheer career.

The member of the inaugural cheer squad at Corner Canyon turned to her cheer coach Whitney Lunt, who offered her the team position of tech cheer manager — a position she held through her graduation this spring.

That position — of taking pictures and videos for her team and creating the cheer website and social media accounts — grew as she added the baseball team’s photos, video and live streaming to her duties. She also became the yearbook’s photo editor and the student body officer over technology.

Without her realizing it, her video talents would help her and her school receive national attention. 

“Back in February, the dance teacher at Corner Canyon High School, Jamie Crowther, asked me to make a 90-second video showcasing Corner Canyon as the most spirited high school in a contest with Varsity Brands,” Taylor said. “When I was submitting the video, my mom said, ‘Hey what is this awards tab?’ So I clicked on it and discovered that I could also apply for individual awards.”

Taylor saw the Student to Celebrate award was for a student who has a “a deep and genuine love for his/her school” and “consistently attends school events and displays the utmost sportsmanship and school pride.” So she applied for the award.

Taylor didn’t realize that her devotion to her school would lead her to win.

“I was shocked when I learned I was amongst the top six students out of 400 applicants nationwide,” she said.

Taylor and her mother traveled to Orlando in May for the Varsity Brands ceremony.  The ceremony was hosted by Olympic gymnast gold medalist Laurie Hernandez and Richard Curtis, who won a social media contest to co-host the television show, lLive with Kelly Ripa.

When it came time for Taylor’s category, Curtis described the student as one who “displays the utmost in sportsmanship and school pride.” He also said the characteristic traits of “driven, enthusiastic, optimistic and loyal” describe the individual. 

 Taylor’s name was announced the award winner.

“When they called my name that I won, I went on stage to accept the crystal award that came with a $1,000 scholarship for college,” she said.

At the ceremony, she thanked her mother, who always supports her, as well as Lunt.

“A huge, huge thank you to my amazing cheer coach, who helped me start on my amazing journey of photography and digital photography,” she said.

This fall, Taylor, who lives in Sandy, plans to attend Utah State University to study digital media and business.

“I want to keep doing what I’m doing,” she said. “I love taking pictures and making videos and capturing the moment!