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East Ridge HIgh School's valedictorian: Celebrating a year of memories

All year long, East Ridge High School senior Lisa Fan knew she was at the top of her class. Each grade report included her rank.

So when Fan, who has a GPA of 4.377, was officially named the 2011 East Ridge High School Valedictorian - making her the school's top student - it wasn't much of a surprise, she said.

But it was still exciting.

"It's pretty awesome to be the first valedictorian," she said.

Fan will be attending the University of Chicago next year to study economics.

Fan, of Cottage Grove, said her high school experience has been an interesting and exciting one since she had to leave Park High School her junior year in order to come to East Ridge.

"It was hard leaving people behind," she said. "But, eventually my best memory became coming to East Ridge and meeting new people."

When entering high school, Fan said she didn't necessarily have a goal set to be named the valedictorian of her graduating class; she simply wanted to do her best in school.

"I've never really seen it as a competition, it's just trying to do your own personal best," she said.

Fan said she would spend between two and three hours a night studying for her classes, but she still found time to play on the school's tennis team.

"Time management is huge," she said.

Throughout her high school career, Fan said her favorite class was advanced placement chemistry.

"Some of my favorite memories are the classes I've taken," she said. "The teachers here are pretty encouraging."

Fan said some of her favorite memories during high school included beating Woodbury High School in football and studying physics through playing tug-o-war.

Now that high school has finally come to a close, Fan said she is both nervous and excited to take the graduation walk on June 11.

"I'm excited about being done and being able to move on to the next part of our lives," she said. "It's exciting, but also a little bittersweet too because I can't believe we've already gotten this far."

Fan's advice for future seniors: "Have fun, meet new people and don't 'senior slide' too much."

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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