Students and teachers honored at Thursday night’s Van Buren School District Education Foundation Top 40 banquet were recognized for theeir hard work.

The annual Academic Recognition Banquet, held in cooperation with the Van Buren School District, honored the top 40 graduating seniors of the Class of 2016.

Each distinguished scholar recognized a VBSD teacher, coach, principal or counselor who has had a significant positive influence on his or her education and life.

"Never forget how you got there and who got you here," said Debbie Thomas, director of the education foundation. "It is probably the person sitting next to you. But always remember, it is your hard work that got you here."

Thomas said the top 40 are "the brightest Van Buren has to offer." She said she hopes the students will eventually make their homes in Van Buren to make a difference for the next generation.

David King, president of the education foundation board of directors, urged the students to get involved.

"Be part of the team," he said.

Dr. Harold Jeffcoat, VBSD superintendent, said it was a special honor for him to get to recognize the top 40 students and the teachers.

"Your hard work and dedication is what got you here and is what you will lead on in the future," Jeffcoat said.

VBHS principal Eddie Tipton said what the students have accomplished in high school is important for their future.

"It also set the tone for what we do at Van Buren High School," he said.

Scholars and honored teachers were:

Bethany Sutterfield, Deena Dunn; Sarah Fouts, Scott Brady; Laura Megan Humphreys, Marti Salisbury; Evan Rackley, Brad Ball; Katjana Wiederkehr, Brad Rotert; Joshua Bender, Joseph McLean; Dalton Gage Norris, Kathy Hoover; Jenny Nguyen, Gayle Selby; Kallie Evans, Robert Rogers; Madison Chitwood, Rod Ray; Kaitlyn Harp, Emily Albertson; Mallory Stephenson, Valerie Burns; Karen Quijada, Kara Holland; Logan Hill, Sarah McPhate; Cody Eagle, Greg Werner; Ceira Clark, Stephanie Dunn; Jaimee Flavier, Martha Hurst; Loren Lale, Dusti Hurst; Christian Dye, Laura Burnett; Callie Poole, Don Mendenhall.

Also, Victoria Risley, Cindy Nelson; Sarah Harrison, David Harrison; Chassity Yarbrough, LouAnne King; Cindy Monterroza, Christie Tipton; Bethany Mason, Marianne Nicodemus; Andrew Taylor, Courtney Cochran; Sandra Diaz, Jennifer Blakney; Abbigail Davis, Mitzi Davis; Mikyla Osman, Michelle Hefner; Brooklyn Hardcastle, Jenny Newman; Emily Humphrey, Renee Henson; Jordan Barlow, Summer Shook; Ashton Sangster, Ashley Carter; Desarae Crawford, Lisa Moose; Annalea Mann, Karen Mohr; Rhyker Dye, Melinda Liles; Makayla Jones, Michael Kinney; Elizabeth Hutchins, Jennifer Hutchins; Hayley Trejo, Marcus Koch; and Katelyn Smith, Marti Dodson.