Longtime teachers and top students were honored at a recent Davis Board of Education meeting.

The board and the Davis Education Association paid tribute to some 90 educators with 25 or more years of service. Following the announcement of each teacher's name and his teaching assignment, the board held a brief reception to meet each teacher.Board President Sheryl Allen called the teachers the "backbone of education" and praised their contributions.

Keith Geiger, vice president of the National Education Association, addressed the group. He spoke positively about public education, noting that despite the publicity given the nation's dropout rate, between 70 and 75 percent of all students still graduate from high school, a statistic that hasn't changed in more than 30 years.

He also said he was deeply moved by a visit to the trailer school under a Salt Lake viaduct where a lone teacher teaches the children of the homeless. He said theteacher's sacrifice is what education is all about.

The board also initiated a program to honor students who distinguish themselves in state, regional and national events. Four students were honored.

Olivia Walton, an eighth-grade student at South Davis Junior in Bountiful, was honored for winning her grade-level competition in the medical/dental division at the recent regional science fair at Weber State College. She also won the Young Women Scientists of the Year award.

Monte Caldwell, named Sterling Scholar in music at the statewide Deseret News-sponsored competition, was recognized for his overall musical excellence. The Viewmont High senior has won numerous music awards over the years and has been awarded the prestigious Tracy Scholarship in music at the University of Utah.

Wade Gery, a senior at Davis High, was first place winner in the medical/dental division at the Weber State science fair, where he was also recognized for having the best overall project. Gery won a trip to the National Science and Engineering Fair in Knoxville, Tenn., and was a runner-up in the Sterling Scholar competition.

Shu-Ming (Joe) Chang, a Clearfield High senior with a perfect grade point average, has a composite ACT college entrance exam score of 30 and is taking eight advanced placement courses. A native of Taiwan, Joe took first place in the chemistry division at WSC and won the Utah Science Talent Search and Westinghouse Science Talent Search. He has received a full scholarship to attend Princeton University.