Anneke Korver is the valedictorian for the 2020 Alberni District Secondary School grad class. (PHOTO COURTESY ALBERNI FILMS)

Anneke Korver is the valedictorian for the 2020 Alberni District Secondary School grad class. (PHOTO COURTESY ALBERNI FILMS)

ADSS valedictorian reflects on ‘difficult’ year

Port Alberni students had their school year interrupted by COVID-19 pandemic

Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) valedictorian Anneke Korver will be representing a graduating class that has seen the school year interrupted by a worldwide pandemic.

Korver was selected to deliver a farewell speech on behalf of her graduating class at this year’s ADSS graduation ceremony. But the 2020 graduation will look a little different compared to previous years. Graduates spent the first three weeks of June filming a socially-distanced, virtual graduation ceremony that will air on Shaw TV on Friday, July 3, starting at 7 p.m. Korver has already filmed her valedictorian speech, although the audience was much smaller than she originally expected.

READ MORE: Alberni District Secondary’s class of 2020 celebrates virtually

“It went really well,” she said, although she added that it was “odd” to compare it to previous graduation ceremonies. The ADSS grad usually takes place at the Alberni Valley Multiplex, with hundreds of people in the audience.

“It’s not what I expected when I thought about running,” said Korver. “I was able to have some family and friends come watch. It was really well-organized,” she added. “[The staff and volunteers] did a really good job.”

In her speech Korver will discuss the unusual school year that her graduating class faced. When ADSS students departed for spring break on March 13, most of them didn’t end up returning to school, as the provincial government suspended all in-class instruction just a few days later.

Most schools within School District 70 did re-open on June 1, but many students elected to continue with online learning, instead.

“It’s been difficult,” said Korver. “I don’t think there’s any high school student enjoying school now that we can’t see anybody. It’s hard to stay motivated sometimes.”

But although the year has been a difficult one, Korver wants her speech to focus on her classmates’ achievements.

“I’ll be talking about the changes our year has had, but that’s not the most important thing,” she said. “The grad ceremony should be the most important thing.”

Throughout her high school years, Korver was involved in both concert and jazz bands, took “a fair bit of academic classes” and played on the Alberni Athletics soccer team.

READ MORE: COVID-19 ends Alberni Athletics’ year of provincial promise

One of her favourite memories is of a Grade 11 band trip to the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Idaho, but she also has good memories of spending lunch hours with her friends.

“We had our spot we sat in every day,” she said. “Just little stuff like that is nice, as well.”

Korver still isn’t sure where she will be this fall. She has been accepted to the University of Calgary, where she will be working to earn her Bachelor of Science. The university is tentatively planning a return to campus learning, but the COVID-19 pandemic makes things uncertain.

“I don’t know yet if classes will be held there in person or just online,” said Korver.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Graduation 2020

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Alberni city hall. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
Port Alberni adopts tax increase below 4% for 2021

Financial plan looks for balance between residents, industry

Police cordoned off the block of Fifth Avenue from Burde Street to Bute Street in front of the Phoenix House sobering centre in the early-morning hours of Sunday, April 4, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Port Alberni stabbing suspect arrested in Nanaimo

Man was also in possession of fentanyl: RCMP

Paper Excellence took over Catalyst Paper operations in B.C. in 2018. (Paper Excellence photo)
Port Alberni postpones organics collection to September 2021

Collection carts will be stored at Port Alberni Port Authority terminal

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read