Juniors at both Truman and William Chrisman high schools and for the first time, Van Horn High School, have been recognized for their academic efforts.

Juniors at both Truman and William Chrisman high schools and for the first time, Van Horn High School, have been recognized for their academic efforts.

Monday night, more than 119 juniors from all three high schools in the Independence School District received the McCoy Award at the Truman Memorial Building. The McCoy Award was established in 1902 by the heirs of William McCoy, the first mayor of Independence. The purpose was to and continues to be promoting academic excellence among high school students.

The Independence Board of Education reinstated the medals in 1984. The program now recognizes the top 50 juniors at each of the three high schools. Achievement is based on the first four semesters of high school. So far, more than 2,400 students have received the medal since the award was reinstated.

This year, former Independence Mayor Ron Stewart presented the medals to each of the students.

“As it has since 1902, the McCoy Award commemorates the discipline and hard work it takes to reach academic excellence,” said Independence Superintendent Jim Hinson. “It is a real honor to be able to present the medals to the these deserving students in front of their family members.”

Because Van Horn High School is now in the Independence School District, juniors were recognized for the first time with McCoy Awards. Van Horn, along with five other schools, was transferred from the Kansas City School District to Independence this summer.

“The Independence School District continues to build the legacy that is the McCoy Awards,” Hinson said. ”This year, we are proud to be able to extend the award to students at Van Horn High School, as well as students at Truman and William Chrisman high schools.”

In addition to the actual medal, students receiving the McCoy Award also received a coffee mug with the McCoy Medal emblem. The intention is that the mug is given to the parent or guardian as a small gift for the support shown through the student’s academic career.