They still have a couple more weeks to go until they graduate, but 22 members members of Leavenworth High School's class of 2013 were in the spotlight Wednesday for their academic achievement.
The seniors were honored during the ninth annual Horizon Scholars Gala.
The event, which is organized each year by the Leavenworth Public Schools Education Foundation, recognizes Leavenworth seniors who have grade point averages of 4.0 or better.
Each Horizon Scholar was asked to select the person considered to be his or her most influential teacher. These educators also were honored Wednesday.
"Tonight is such a wonderful event," said Mike Reilly, president of the Leavenworth Public Schools Education Foundation.
He said the gala honored excellence in teaching and learning.
Reilly said it takes an excellent teacher for students to experience excellence in learning.
Amy Sloan, director of the foundation, said a total of 24 students had qualified as Horizon Scholars, but one moved and another graduated early.
Ahead of Wednesday night's program, each student being honored as a Horizon Scholar was photographed with his or her most influential teacher. Copies of the photographs were presented to the students and teachers Wednesday evening. Each student also were presented a city of Leavenworth pin from Mayor Laura Janas Gasbarre.
The graduating seniors and their influential teachers also were interviewed for a video that was screened during the gala.
Sloan said copies of the video also were presented Wednesday.
In the video, the seniors talked about the people they'd chosen as their most influential teachers. And the educators talked about the students.
Senior Jessica Kim said she felt like she could come up to science teacher Heather Langfoss and ask any question.
Senior Samuel Davis said his former math teacher James Vanek inspires him to be a better person.
Rebekah Covington said she could turn to science teacher Justin Bode if she needed someone to talk to.
"A lot of teachers won't sit down with you and really listen to what's going on," she said.
The teachers also offered advice to the students. Counselor Trish Klima said senior Anna Salvatorelli "will do just fine." The counselor said Salvatorelli has excellent study habits and has her "eye on the prize."