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Principal’s Recognition Award: Weihua Liu

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Principal’s Recognition Award: Weihua Liu

By Grace Geraghty

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Editor’s Note: This is the fourteenth in a series of 19 stories about last semester’s Principal’s Recognition  Award winners who were recognized on Wednesday, Dec. 2 for outstanding achievement in specific programs. Senior Weihua Liu received the Physical Welfare Award and was nominated by Mr. Joaquin Stephenson.

Listening in to Physical Welfare Director Mr. Joaquin Stephenson‘s gym class about a month and a half into school, a passerby would hear Stephenson leading the entire class in the pronunciation of one student, senior Weihua (Way-wa) Liu‘s, first name.

Flash forward a few months, and Liu is helping Stephenson ensure that all his classmates, regardless of gender, are receiving equal opportunities to partake in the day’s activities, something Mr. Stephenson’s class emphasizes.

“He is a master motivator, he does that through action, and through voice, as well,” Stephenson said.

So, Liu was an excellent martinet for Mr. Stephenson’s plan to integrate themes of social justice into his gym class. For the first month of the school year, only students who identified as male were allowed to practice with the sports equipment, in order to emphasize how important it was that female students were also given an equal opportunity to participate.

“Weihua was a major enforcer of that rule, making sure that we had females getting an equitable amount of passes. It’s very true to who he is as a person,” Stephenson said. “He comes with this naturally; he was just never able to put his finger on it or put a definition to it.”

Liu, who sometimes goes by Daniel, moved to the United States from China in 2012. Recently, he decided to enroll in the United States Navy for after he graduates, a decision that has greatly inspired many around him, including Mr. Stephenson.

“He told me, ‘I’ll give my life for the person next to me, and I don’t mind doing that and serving this country and it makes me so proud of him,” Stephenson said. “”It means more to me [that Weihua is recieving this award] because I got to have him in my class.”

For his part, Liu downplays the significance of his decision.

“It’s been my interest and my dream since I was a young boy,” Liu said. “Since I’m here [instead of China], I’m able to join.”

To Liu, this recognition represents a payoff for all his hard work, though he insists he would continue to try hard regardless.

“I would have still put it the same amount of effort,” Liu said. “I try to do my best always.”

Previous installment in the Principal’s Recognition Award series

Senaid Cutric  –  https://www.nileswestnews.org/features/principals-recognition-award-senaid-cutric/

Grace Geraghty, Editor in Chief

Grace is a senior in her third year on Niles West News, where she is the Editorial Editor in Chief. Outside of NWN, she can be found figure skating, at...

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