Throughout his senior year at Wayzata High School, Duligur Ibeling didn't spend much time in high school classes.
The Harvard–bound standout is so advanced in math and science that he has taken classes and conducted research at the University of Minnesota throughout his high school career. Math and science have long been Ibeling's passion.
"I think it's fun that, like, we can learn new things," he said. "It's very exciting to me, making discoveries in science."
Through his research of super novae at the U of M, he's already making some of those discoveries. Ibeling has also achieved great success as a member of Wayzata's quiz bowl, science bowl and math teams, and he was part of a team that won an International Linguistics Olympiad.
But perhaps one of Ibeling's most pretigious accolades came just this month when he was named a U.S. Presidential Scholar. The application process is by invitation only. Since 1964, just one boy and one girl from each state earn the distinction each year.
Wayzata's gifted and talented coordinator Sue Iverson says the honor is well deserved.
"It's amazing, I mean, it's just so beyond what you typically see of high school students," she said. "He has a thirst for knowledge and it's very quiet and subtle, but he loves to learn. And he has been such a role model and a mentor to the younger students too because he is so humble and so quiet about it."
Each scholar can choose one teacher to recognize and Ibleing chose Iverson. The pair will travel to Washington, D.C., in June for a weekend of recognition events - the trip may even include a meeting with President Obama.
Although Iverson says Ibeling will never boast about his acheivements, she is glad his academic success is noticed.
"He just quietly goes about his business learning as much as he can," she said, "and then along the way someone taps into it and he gets honored for it and I think that's really cool."
Jennifer Anderson reporting
May 31, 2012