By Lethbridge Herald on June 23, 2015.
Winston Churchill High School has a lot to be proud of. At the top of the list is Sally Xu, this year’s valedictorian. Xu edged out four other students by mere points with an already stunning 95 per cent average to receive the honour.
“I was really shocked,” said Xu. “I had not seen it coming at all. There’s this really tight group and we’re all really close to each other with grades.”
The 17-year-old completed the full International Baccalaureate program, an advanced academic curriculum recognized by many universities.
She counts her favourite subjects as math, physics and chemistry. On top of her studies, she is Student Council treasurer, WCHS president of the National Honour Society and plays clarinet in the school concert band.
She played volleyball and badminton in the past, but wanted to devote her senior year to her studies.
Outside of school, she’s an accomplished pianist, having played since she was four. Now she passes her knowledge on by teaching young children how to play.
She also enjoys volunteering at St. Michael’s Health Centre.
“I play piano for the patients there and sometimes I’ll take care of them, make Christmas cards or play games,” said Xu, who can’t believe it’s already time to graduate.
“It’s really exciting. It’s coming real fast. But I think it’s also scary because then I’m going to university after the summer. I’m going to have to learn how to live on my own. I’ll be really far away from my parents.”
Xu is enrolled in the business program at New York University. Her sister, who lives in the city, took the same program, so Xu won’t be completely on her own.
While she isn’t sure of her ultimate career goal, she knows business will give her a solid background to explore many different paths.
“It interests me. It’s math and economics and stuff. At first I wanted to be an engineer. Then in the end I just decided business interested me more. One of the reasons I applied to NYU is it’s one of the top business schools in North America.”
Xu is still working on her valedictorian speech, but she wants her graduating class “to be proud of what they’ve achieved so far, and look forward to the future.”
WCHS will have 203 graduates this year. Convocation begins at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the Lethbridge College Val Matteotti gym. The celebration continues Friday with the grand march, dance and reception from 6-10 p.m. in the same venue.
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