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Years of scholastic excellence combined with leadership and community service by many of the state's outstanding high school seniors will be in the television spotlight April 8 during the 31st annual Deseret News-KSL Sterling Scholar Awards ceremony.

The ceremony, when the state's most prestigious awards in education are presented, is scheduled at Cottonwood High School, 5715 S. 1300 East, as parents, families and friends watch.The program will be telecast live at 7 p.m. on KSL-TV, Ch. 5, with 180 finalists featured, according to Terry Lamb, show producer.

During the show winners and runners-up in each of 12 categories will be disclosed for the first time. They will have been selected during final judging April 1 at Highland High School, but the names would be known only to a few officials.

Prominent Utahns will be on hand to present the awards, Lamb said.

They will be Ted Wilson, director, University of Utah's Hinckley Institute; Stephen Woodhouse, president of LDS Business College; JoAnn Larsen, Deseret News columnist; and Jane Clayson, KSL-TV weekend anchor personality.

Master of ceremonies will be Kent Norton of KSL-TV.

Highlighting the hourlong ceremony will be the presentation of awards by category.

Murray High School will present an excerpt from its school play, "Anything Goes," and the Mountain View jazz ensemble will perform. American Fork High School choral group also will perform, Lamb said.

Following the awards ceremony, the Deseret News will host a reception in the foyer of the school for the students, parents, family and friends.