Our kids' high school has an annual "awards luncheon" where they award scholarships and external awards. The school awards are done earlier at an assembly, which also has parents/family. At the luncheon there are the ALO/MALO/BGO's who award the appointments (the actual folders) similar to what Hornet relates, but it also includes local business reps (who award various scholarships), Rotary and other service clubs, and recognizes those who get merit scholarships from the various colleges and universities. While it is long -- a couple hours -- it gives lots of recognition to the students, plenty of opportunities for for pic's, and inspires others.
Lastly, the newspaper has a special section each spring where all the local schools have the names/scholarships listed, with monetary totals for each "class." There is plenty of interest in which schools have what awards, including academy appointments.
All of this generates several positives: first, the students get recognized for their hard work (and inspire others in the process); second, the schools get reputations, which reflects on the staff/teachers; last, the businesses, service clubs, and other community groups who grant the scholarships get recognition which encourages all those groups to GIVE MORE scholarships!
Perhaps there is a reporter for your local paper who has the educational "beat" and would be interested in something like that. It really makes a difference in community support of education... (and pity if you are in a community who feels it can't recognize the success of students/schools because it might make other, less successful schools/students "feel bad.")