A legally blind high school senior has been named recipient of a special award in the Deseret News Sterling Scholar Awards program for her scholastic excellence, leadership and citizenship.

Each year the sponsors of the program look for students who have overcome handicaps or demonstrated extraordinary achievement. Program officials selected Stephanie Thompson, a finalist in the category of social science, for this year's honor.A daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Paul Thompson of Salt Lake City, she ranks 20 in a senior class of 702 at Alta High School. Although she has had severe low vision since birth and is classified legally blind, she has taken this challenge as an opportunity to develop in every academic and social area.

Thompson received straight-A grades in advanced placement classes of U.S. history, European history, U.S. government and art history. On the advanced placement test for U.S. history she received a 5, the highest grade possible, and a 4 on European history.

A National Merit finalist, she has been awarded the trustees scholarship at Brigham Young University and an honors at entrance award for the University of Utah. She won five medals in district competition for the Academic Decathlon and was a finalist in the Citizen Bee competition last year.

In the national French test, Thompson ranked sixth in the state. She also performs on the violin for the school orchestra and is treasurer of the Model United Nations Club at Alta.