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Booker T. is top grad at Booker T. High

Booker T. Washington Jr. has made a name for himself at Booker T. Washington High School: He's graduating at the top of his class and garnering the biggest academic scholarship in school history. The 18-year-old said that as a freshman he took to carrying his Social Security card around to prove he really was Booker T. Washington. But soon he was known on his own.

His math and science ability and extra credit in honors courses helped him build a 4.16 average on a four-point scale by last week's graduation.

"He's an ideal student, honorable and well-liked," said John Owen, Washington's favorite teacher at the high school. "He's as good as anybody anywhere."

Clark Atlanta University apparently thought he was better than most.

It awarded him a five-year, $48,350 scholarship to pursue bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics.

Like his namesake, the influential black educator who founded Alabama's Tuskeegee Institute in 1881, Booker wants to teach. At least, at first _ he also plans to get a law degree after he's taught math for a while.

He already has taught Sunday school and learning-disabled children in his spare time.

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