Area High School Seniors Named Governor’s Scholars Award Winners

Sixteen area high school students from across the KD Country 94 & Z-96.3 The Lake listening area were named recipients of the 2023 Governor’s Scholars Award Program. The ceremony, attended by Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, took place on Sunday, May 7th at Washburn University in Topeka.

For the last 40 years, the program has recognized outstanding graduating seniors who finish in the top 1 percent of their high school graduating class.

Governor’s Scholars from the area include:

  • Shelly Chen from Beloit High School
  • Belle Chavey from Concordia High School
  • Braya Darnall from Glasco High School
  • Michael Gradig from Lakeside High School
  • Marley Madsen from Lincoln High School
  • Lucas Jamison from Miltonvale High School
  • Liam Nichols from Minneapolis High School
  • Brooke Befort from Osborne High School
  • Emily Hansen from Republic County High School
  • Davin Coil from Rock Hills High School
  • Kaley Wagner from Smith Center High School
  • Sergio Lopez from St. John’s High School-Beloit
  • Kaylee Johnson from Sylvan-Lucas High School
  • Dominic Graves from Tescott High School
  • Joshua Towner from Tipton Catholic High School
  • Toree Slavik from Thunder Ridge High School

The full list is available here

The Governor’s Scholars program is coordinated by the Kansas Public Education Task Force, with donations for funding by private sector businesses in Kansas. The following are members of the Task Force.

  • American Association of University Women
  • Kansas Association of School Boards
  • Kansas Congress of Parents and Teachers
  • Kansas League of Women Voters
  • Kansas-National Education Association
  • Kansas School Public Relations Association
  • Kansas State Board of Education
  • Kansas State Department of Education
  • Kansas State High School Activities Association
  • United School Administrators of Kansas.
Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


― Advertisement ―


― Advertisement ―



― Advertisement ―

95.5 KNDY

1570/94.1 KNDY



Q 106.7 & 102.5 KQNK