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Class of 2013: All about the A's for WHS valedictorian

Woodbury High School Class of 2013 valedictorian Eddie Liu will deliver a speech to fellow graduates during commencement on June 2 at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood.

Eddie Liu admits he's something of a perfectionist.

"I haven't gotten an A-minus yet," the Woodbury High School senior said during his final month of school.

He said it's that level of dedication to academics that led him to be named WHS' Class of 2013 valedictorian.

"It's a great honor to be valedictorian - to represent the class at graduation," said the 17-year-old who compiled a 4.3399 grade-point average.

Liu credited hard work for his academic success - especially in rigorous science courses - but admitted he often relies on last-minute cram sessions.

"I tend to procrastinate," Liu said with laugh. "But it seems to work."

His rise to the top of the class didn't happen by chance. Liu said he set a goal to become the class valedictorian when he began high school.

As part of that effort, Liu delved into challenging courses that began with a unique pursuit: instead of enrolling in the school's biology class, Liu decided to "self-study" the discipline in order to vault into an advanced placement-level biology course.

Liu said he has been interested in science ever since his father - a 3M scientist - introduced him to scientific principles as a child.

"I always thought that was interesting - that you could test and observe things in your natural environment," he said, naming his father as an inspiration for academic success.

Academic success has been a mixture of motivation from his parents and a personal quest, Liu said. And, he noted, there's also a financial incentive to be had from taking post-secondary education options that save money on college credits.

Liu will attend the University of Minnesota in the fall, where he plans to study chemical engineering. If all goes according to plan, he will graduate in three years and attend graduate school.

Outside the classroom, Liu has stayed close to science; he co-captained this year's Science Olympiad team with his sister, Diana, and WHS salutatorian Kinsey Philips. Liu is an all-state member and co-captain of the Math League team, National Honor Society member, and participates on the Science Quiz Bowl and Chess Club.

Away from school, Liu said he enjoys playing piano, tennis and dabbling in video games.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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