Originally published April 20, 202


The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) recently announced students selected as 2020-2021 Illinois State Scholars. Nine Central High School seniors were selected. The nine Central seniors are:

Jillian Baker, daughter of Melissa Harms of Chebanse,

Jonathan Gutierrez, son of Alfredo and Cathy Gutierrez of Chebanse,

Kaylee Ketcherside, daughter of Maranda Skeen of Chebanse,

Elizabeth Kleinert, daughter of Bret and Lisa Kleinert of Ashkum,

Christian Ladehoff, son of David Ladehoff of Chebanse and Jill Fragoso of Houston, Texas,

Ian Palmer, son of Beth Palmer of Chebanse,

Caden Perry, son of John Mark and Susaine Perry of Clifton,

Luscentia Smolinski, daughter of Kristy Connor and William Smolinski of Chebanse, and

Bryan Winkel, son of Andrew and Milissa Winkel of Clifton.

ISAC, the state agency committed to helping to make college accessible and affordable for Illinois families, bestows this prestigious recognition to top Illinois high school students annually. This year, nearly 19,000 elite honorees join the other top state students honored for their academic achievements since the designation was first introduced in 1958.  

Illinois State Scholars possess strong academic potential and are chosen based on a combination of exemplary ACT or SAT test scores and sixth semester class rank. State Scholars rank in approximately the top ten percent of high school seniors, representing 652 high schools across the state

While this distinguished recognition does not include a monetary prize, recipients are encouraged to cite the honor on applications for college admission and scholarships. In addition, students are urged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1, 2016. The FAFSA determines eligibility for federal and state aid.

ISAC offers free financial aid and college access events to assist students and families with the college-going process. Students can also visit the ISAC website and in particular the new ISAC Student Portal for college planning, financial aid and financial literacy information and  free tools, as well as information on how to contact the ISACorps, a group of recent college graduates who act as near-peer mentors, for one-on-one assistance and mentoring.