Class of 2013: WHS salutatorian setting sails in science
Kinsey Philips made herself a promise in junior high.
She enrolled in an honors-level physical science class - one that classmates had warned her was rigorous and taught by a no-nonsense teacher. It was no easy "A."
"I would beat the odds," the Woodbury High School senior said.
The class became a life changer, where she caught the science bug that continues to live with her today.
"It was a real hands-on class," Philips said. "It opened my eyes to what I could do with science."
Philips went on to become an accomplished student at WHS and learned this year that she is the Class of 2013's salutatorian, boasting a grade-point average of 4.338.
"It's exciting," she said of the distinction. "It was kind of nice to be recognized for all my hard work."
Getting good grades was never a question for Philips. She said the drive to succeed has come from within. Though Philips said her parents have been supportive of her quest for high achievement, she said they didn't pressure her to pull good grades.
"It's not an option to not get A's for me," she said.
Philips will attend the University of Minnesota in the fall, where she plans to study biological sciences.
She said she's drawn to the physical applications of science that are studied in labs.
"It's cool to see how different things work," Philips said.
She is a four-year member of the WHS Science Olympiad team and served as co-captain this year with valedictorian Eddie Liu and his sister, Diana Liu. Philips is also a National Honor Society member and served on the school's Link Crew.
She said WHS' science teachers have "made it easy for me to like science" - in particular, Nour Sinada, who teaches anatomy. Philips called Sinada, a Sudan native who has built an accomplished career in science, as an inspiration.
"She makes it really fun for everyone," she said.