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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) recently honored 258 St. Clair County high school students who were named 2021-22 Illinois State Scholars by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Illinois State Scholar winners rank in approximately the top 10% of the state’s high school seniors from 676 high schools in all 102 counties. Selection is based on a combination of standardized test scores and class rank or unweighted GPA at the end of the student’s junior year. ISAC works in conjunction with the students’ high school guidance counselors to determine the winners.

“The last two school years have been hard on students, school staff and parents,” Belt said. “No one could have predicted a global pandemic disrupting all of our lives, and that’s why I’m so proud of these students,” Belt said. “Not only did they performed academically, but they had to perform mentally and emotionally as well. It takes a lot of courage and discipline to achieve what these students have achieved with hybrid and remote learning.”

The scholars from St. Clair County include students from nine area high schools: O’Fallon Township, Althoff Catholic, Belleville Township East, Belleville Township West, First Baptist Academy, Freeburg, Lebanon, Marissa Junior/Senior and Mascoutah high schools. 

Recipients of the award will receive a congratulatory letter from ISAC, and a Certificate of Achievement will be sent to their high school. State Scholars will also receive a digital badge issued by ISAC that can be displayed on online profiles, exhibited on social media, and shared with prospective colleges and employers.

“I’d like to thank the teachers and school administrators for all of their hard work as well,” Belt said. “It was their hard work and determination that allowed these students to thrive in a difficult situation.”

More information about the State Scholar program can be found at ISAC’s website.