Illinois State Scholars: EPHS Seniors Honored for Academic Achievement

Elmwood Park High School's newest Illinois State Scholars gather for a group photo.

Elmwood Park High School's newest Illinois State Scholars gather for a group photo. Scroll down for a larger photo as well as a caption identifying the students. (District 401 photo by Dave Porreca)

Thirteen Elmwood Park High School seniors have been named 2020-21 Illinois State Scholars in recognition of their sustained records of academic excellence.

The honor, conferred by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), goes each year to those students who rank in the top 10 percent of the state's high school graduating seniors. 

Last year, 18 Elmwood Park seniors received the honor, which is announced each fall.

The selection of Illinois State Scholars is based on a combination of ACT or SAT test scores, class rank at the end of the sixth semester (if the school ranks) or unweighted grade point average (if the school does not rank), and class size. Detailed information about how Illinois State Scholars are selected is available here at the ISAC website. 

While the program does not provide a monetary award, the designation as an Illinois State Scholar can be listed on applications for college admission and scholarships.

Congratulations to the following members of the EPHS Class of 2020:

  • Judah Barakat
  • John Diaz
  • Jasmin Garcia
  • Kaloyan Hristov
  • Wiktoria Koper
  • Habib Kouria
  • Jacqueline Lasselle
  • Andriy Luchan
  • Sancia Notardonato
  • Caroline Rumani
  • Christian Shuteriqi
  • Gabriela Szado
  • Jacquelyn Vargas

Each student designated as a State Scholar receives a congratulatory letter, a certificate of achievement and statewide recognition in the news media.

Honorees also receive access to a digital Illinois State Scholar badge issued by ISAC. The badge can be displayed on a State Scholar's online profiles and social media accounts, and it can be shared with high school counselors, prospective colleges, employers, family members and others.

"The combination of students' exemplary college entrance examination scores and record of high school achievement indicate an especially high potential for success in college," according to ISAC. "To be named an Illinois State Scholar is an outstanding accomplishment that will be a highlight of the recipient's academic record."

Announcement of all Illinois State Scholars is made available online at ISAC's website,, each December. The online listing displays each State Scholar alphabetically by high school, within the school's Illinois county.

Elmwood Park High School's newest Illinois State Scholars gather for a group photo.

PHOTO: Twelve of the 13 EPHS seniors who were named 2020-21 Illinois State Scholars recently assembled for a group picture in the school lobby. From left: Wiktoria Koper, Jacquelyn Vargas, John Diaz, Habib Kouria, Christian Shuteriqi, Judah Barakat, Andriy Luchan, Kaloyan Hristov, Gabriela Szado, Caroline Rumani, Jacqueline Lasselle and Jasmin Garcia. Not pictured: Sancia Notardonato. District 401 photo by Dave Porreca (click image for larger view).  

Illinois State Scholars are honored by the Board of Education.

PHOTO: The 2020-21 Illinois State Scholars were honored Dec. 18 at the District 401 Board of Education's regular monthly meeting. Seated from left: Vice President Michael V. Scheidt, President Frank J. Parisi and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nicolas D. Wade. Standing from left: Board Member Mary Bruscato, Secretary Sue Capraro, Habib Kouria, Jasmin Garcia, Judah Barakat, Jacqueline Lasselle, Kaloyan Hristov, Gabriela Szado, Caroline Rumani, Christian Shuteriqi, Andriy Luchan, Wiktoria Koper and Board Members Timothy P. Loughnane, Peter A. Volpe and Jonathan M. Rivera. State Scholars not pictured: John Diaz, Sancia Notardonato and Jacquelyn Vargas. District 401 photo by Dave Porreca (click image for larger view).

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