August 15, 2011
By John Reynolds
Some of Illinois’ top-performing high school graduates were honored at the Illinois State Fair on Sunday.
Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon declared Sunday “Top Scholar Day” during a reception at the fairgrounds for the students. The 72 students from 59 schools were singled out because of their high academic achievement and dedication to extracurricular activities.
The students who received the recognition were the valedictorians or the equivalent of their class. Not all of the state’s high schools participated in the program.
“The students honored here today have demonstrated their dedication to educational excellence and are some of the best and brightest future leaders of Illinois,” Simon said. “I look forward to seeing what each and every student will accomplish in their future endeavors.”
The Illinois Top Scholar recognition began under then-Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and has been celebrated for the past six years at the fair.
Simon, the state’s point-person on education reform, urged the students to persist as they continue their education and encourage their classmates to do the same.
“Only 40 percent of the Illinois work force has a college degree or credentials,” Simon said. “By 2025, we want at least 60 percent of our work force to have a college credential.”
The 72 students represented 59 schools from Poplar Grove to Harrisburg.
Sangamon County students recognized included: Spencer Chipman, Springfield High School; Faith Dennison, Riverton High School; Jacob Edwards of Dawson, Tri-City High School; and Kristi Price of Dawson, Tri-City High School.