Worthington News

Worthington Kilbourne junior

Liu, 15, is perfect on ACT, SAT -- and wins 'mind-boggling' number of gold keys

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At age 15, George Liu knows he is smart. He has a long list of honors and awards to prove it.

His latest achievement, however, took even him by surprise.

"I'm still kind of in shock," the Worthington Kilbourne High School junior said. "You can always hope, but you can never really expect a perfect score."

Liu actually achieved two perfect scores this year: on the ACT and on the SAT.

His ACT score was 36. His SAT score was 2400.

District officials said they couldn't remember any Worthington student acing both college entrance exams.

If his academic achievements are not remarkable enough to impress, consider his achievements in art. He recently received 10 gold keys in the regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards contest for his drawings and paintings, and he won two of the three American Visionary awards in that contest.

"Three gold keys would tie a school record by one student, but 10 is mind-boggling," Kilbourne art teacher Brian Riegel said. "One student taking two of the top five American Visionary awards is unheard of."

As a sophomore, Liu won a gold medal in the national Scholastic competition, receiving the award at Carnegie Hall. This year's national awards have not yet been announced.

Liu also is captain of the school's Science Olympiad team, which will compete for the state title April 26. He's also a member of student council and plays varsity tennis.

To what does he attribute his remarkable achievements?

It's a combination of talent and hard work, with an emphasis on the latter, according to Liu.

"A good work ethic is important to success in anything," he said. "Innate talent can only take you so far."

Liu is one of two sons of Jason and Tina Liu, who own J. Liu Restaurant and Bar, with locations in Dublin and Worthington.

He and younger brother Gordan, a seventh-grader, designed the east wall inside the Worthington restaurant. Their childhood drawings were used to create the floor-to-ceiling wall covering.

Tina Liu gives much credit to the Worthington teachers who have helped George at Evening Street and Granby elementary schools, McCord Middle School and Kilbourne High School.

"All his teachers are knowledgeable and passionate," she said. "They inspire kids and instill confidence. He has blossomed over the years."

Her son advises other students to prepare for the tests and then relax on test day for best results. If they panic, they will make stupid mistakes, he said.

"You have to keep your cool, keep on moving," he said.

At 15, he is not ready to narrow his choice of colleges or careers, he said.

"I haven't had enough experience in one field to find out what I like or don't like," he said.

He said he dreams of attending an Ivy League college and probably will minor in art, which he expects to always be a passion but a hobby.

"I can't imagine not doing art; it is a really nice outlet," he said.

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