The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) has announced that eight seniors from Sherrard High School have been named Illinois State Scholars.

Carly Anderson, Katelyn Barnhouse, Lauren Copeland, Kyla Elsbury, Olivia Meskan, Addison Pickens, Hailie Shemek and Gina Steckel each scored in the 95th percentile on ACT or SAT test and ranked in the top one-half of their high school class.

Back Row (L to R): Olivia Meskan, Carly Anderson, Addison Pickens, Kyla Elsburry, Hailie Shemek. Front Row (L to R): Gina Steckel, Lauren Copeland, Katelyn Barnhouse
(Photo courtesy Sherrard High School)


“Becoming an Illinois State Scholar is quite an accomplishment, and we are extremely proud of these students. The last couple of years have been exceptionally hard with unusual challenges, and these students have continued to persevere,” said Sherrard Academic Coordinator Julie Drish.

High schools report performance-based academic data and verification of Illinois residency to the ISAC, which disburses the awards. The State Scholars are calculated using a combination of the ACT/SAT test scores, unweighted GPA and class size.

“This year, unlike any other, presented unprecedented challenges to students’ accomplishments,” said ISAC Executive Director Eric Zarnikow in a letter to recipients. “Yet even in those circumstances, the combination of your exemplary college assessment examination scores and record of high school achievement indicates you have a high potential for success in college.”

Both the students and their high school receive certificates of achievement from the ISAC. Some students also receive a congratulatory letter from the commission and a digital State Scholar badge that can be displayed on their online profiles and social media accounts and shared with prospective colleges and employers.