Each year, the Deseret News, like so many newspapers throughout the country, reaches out editorially to pick from the high school ranks a few good athletes to honor them as members of traditional "all-state" teams or "athlete of the month."

But what about the non-athlete, the quiet, unassuming young man or woman who haas put forth years of effort in their own fields of interest or endeavor? Hundreds of these outstanding seniors are graduated from high school each year with little, if any, recognition.It was for this reason in 1962 that newspaper officials felt a need to bring recognition to the high school scholar as well as the athlete. In many hours of discussion with educators and civic leaders, a recognition program was established -- The Sterling Scholar Awards.

Those instrumental in organizing the program included Lavor K. Chaffin, Deseret News education editor; Steve Hale, a staff writer; and Keith D. West, promotion manager. Chaffin has since retired, Hale is now associated with the Utah Education Association and West is continuing his 30th year as Sterling Scholar director.

When the program started three decades ago, it was considered "temporary" with a few schools. Today the entire state of Utah has participating high schools.

Happy 30th anniversary, Sterling Scholars.