A program as extensive and widespread as the Deseret News-KSL Sterling Scholar Awards involves hundreds of individuals and scores of institutions. And when the winners and runners-up were announced Wednesday evening, months of preparation came into focus.

Starting last fall, the Deseret News sent invitations to 46 high schools along the Wasatch Front. Meanwhile, directors in four other geographical areas organized local Sterling Scholar programs in northeast, central, southwest and southeast Utah. Today, the program is conducted in all 40 school districts in the state.At each school, a coordinator was appointed who became an important link in the organizational chain. Success of the overall program and specifically at the schools depends of the dedication and cooperation of this faculty member.

Following the guidelines established by the sponsors, coordinators helped each student to prepare a portfolio that reflected the activities and achievements for the past three or four years.

Into the portfolio not just a "scrapbook" went grade transcripts, letters of recommendation, lists of honors and awards, and similar material.