Gabriella Herrera and Bella Wood, both 2021 graduates of Arkansas City High School, have been recognized by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly as 2021 Kansas Governor's Scholars.

Typically, students receiving this recognition are invited by the governor to an awards program in Topeka. But due to continuing public health precautions, the 2021 Governor's Scholars are being recognized via an on-demand virtual program, which can be found at Students have also received a congratulatory letter from Gov. Kelly and a certificate marking this distinguished accomplishment.

This award recognizes and honors the top academic 1 percent of Kansas high school seniors. Scholars are selected from accredited public and private schools in the state.

"These high school seniors have shown dedication in their studies and a commitment to learning. They've earned this honor, and I want to congratulate them on this achievement," Kelly said. "We also should recognize their families, teachers and mentors for helping these outstanding students achieve their academic goals."

This program is coordinated for the governor by the Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force. It is funded by donations from private sector businesses in Kansas.

The Confidence in Kansas Public Education Task Force was formed 38 years ago to strengthen public confidence in education. The following organizations are members of the Task Force: American Association of University Women, Kansas State Board of Education, Kansas Association of School Boards, Kansas Congress of Parents and Teachers, Kansas State Department of Education, Kansas State High School Activities Association, Kansas National Education Association, Kansas League of Women Voters and United School Administrators of Kansas.

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