Peoria's top graduating seniors honored

By WEEK Producer

May 14, 2013 Updated May 14, 2013 at 10:37 PM CDT

PEORIA, IL. -- Parents, members of the community, and even the Lieutenant Governor are taking time to honor some exceptional high school graduates from the Heart of Illinois.

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon stopped in Peoria Tuesday night for the Rotary-Sterling Merit Award Dinner.

The event honors the top eight-percent of graduating seniors from 15 Peoria-area high schools.

Simon is the states point person on education reform, and says she loves attending events like this.

"I met a young woman who is going to be studying chemistry at Ohio State University, and just can't stop talking about what she wants to discover and how she can change the world. It's really inspiring," Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, (D) IL.

More than 200 students were recognized individually at Tuesday night's event.

The Junior League started the event in 1959.

The Rotary club took over in 19-68, and have been hosting the Rotary-Sterling Merit Award Dinner ever since.