Jayden Iversen has a lot of pride in his school. The Alberni District Secondary School student was voted “Most School Spirit” in this year’s yearbook.
So when the opportunity came up to run for valedictorian for the 2019 graduating class, Iversen jumped at it.
In order to be selected as valedictorian, ADSS students have to submit an application with the support of two staff members and ten students, including an essay explaining why they think they will make a good valedictorian. The final selection is voted on during a class assembly. Of the three candidates this year, Iversen won the popular vote.
He jokes that he ran for valedictorian out of “an innate sense of obligation” to do everything he can.
“I’m proud of my school,” he added. “I’m proud of the class I represent. I want to be a face of this school. ADSS means a lot to me and it has helped me be who I am today. I just thought it was an opportunity that I can’t miss.”
One of Iversen’s favourite memories from his high school years is winning his backside quarterfinals at the wrestling provincials.
“That guaranteed that I would be on the banner in the school gym,” he explained. “That was a big goal in my wrestling career, to get on the banner. It’s probably the highlight of my life up until now.”
Iversen is a busy student. As well as competing on the school’s wrestling team, he is also involved in rugby, track and field, band and drama. He also coaches and works “a few jobs” in his spare time.
“That was another reason I ran for valedictorian,” he said. “I do almost everything. I can represent almost the whole school.”
Even with his busy schedule, he has still found the time to put together a moving speech for this year’s graduation ceremony, which will take place on Friday, June 28. Iversen’s speech has to go through one or two more drafts and revisions, but he plans to have it ready for Friday’s ceremony.
“It’s gotta be great,” he said. “I’ll illicit some tears.”
The focus of his speech is pride.
“Being proud of who we are,” he added. “That’s the main theme. It includes a little bit of reflection, and moving forward with belief and pride in yourself.”
Next year, Iversen plans to head to the University of Victoria to study physics, and then education. His eventual goal is to return to ADSS—as a teacher.
“I’m coming back,” he said. “I had a lot of good memories here. I know the halls, I know the rooms. There are too many memories here to say goodbye easily.”