Years of scholastic excellence combined with leadership and community service by many of the state's outstanding high school seniors will be in the spotlight April 12 during the 28th annual Deseret News-KSL Sterling Scholar Awards ceremony.

The program for awarding the state's most prestigious honors in education will be held at Cottonwood High School, 5715 S. 13th East, as parents, educators and friends look on.The ceremony will be telecast live at 7 p.m. on KSL-TV, Channel 5, with 180 finalists represented.

Years in the pursuit of scholastic excellence along with leadership and community involvement will come into focus as the winners and runners-up are announced in 12 categories.

A high school teacher, nominated by seniors and chosen by sponsors, will be honored during the program as Most Influential Teacher. This marks the sixth year a faculty member will be honored.

In the past, the award has been given to Cristine Blanch, Weber High; Georganna Huff, Spanish Fork High; Loren T. Johnson, Kearns High; Dee Allred, Orem High; and Delos Jensen, West High.

A plaque is presented to the recipient during the ceremony each year.