Grad: ADSS Class of 2012 bids adieu to old school

The Alberni District Secondary School graduating class of 2012 prepares to walk off the stage and into the world on Friday.

Derrick Van Viegen

Derrick Van Viegen

Being the last graduating class at Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS) could be like a funeral, but really it’s more like a wake.

“It’s like a funeral in a way, a kind of mourning,” says Derrick Van Viegen, master of ceremonies for this year’s graduation ceremonies. “But it’s a celebration too. It’s going to be explosive.”

Ryan Hart, valedictorian and co-chair of the grad committee, agrees.

“We want it to be the best, but we also want to remember the past with respect.”

The 267 graduates of the ADSS Class of 2012 hope to do just that at their ceremonies on Friday, June 29.

They are the last class to graduate at ADSS, as the school officially closes this summer. In the fall, students will head to the class at the new school erected near 10th Avenue and Roger Street.

But there are no hard feelings for the grads who won’t attend the new school.

“We were either going to be the first grad class in the new school or the last one in the old school,” says Hart. “This is better, because we can say goodbye.”

Van Viegen is a little disappointed.

“My sister is going to the new school. Yeah, I feel a little gypped,” he laughs. But he adds that life at ADSS hasn’t been about the physical building.

“I would describe the four years as a great change,” says Van Viegen. “Really new and really remarkable. You become a part of the community. The students, the teachers, the kindness. It is exciting now because  we are becoming a part of a memory. I have never felt this good … it’s very cool.”

Hart agrees.

“High school has been an ongoing process, each year builds and you get the excitement,” says Hart. “This year has been the best year. We are not just ending high school, we are ending a part of life … it’s over, now what? That’s exciting.”

Hart says the Class of 2012 is special.

“I feel like this class is different from other classes,” says Hart. “Maybe we are not the most academic class, but (we) have changed a lot,” he says of his classmates.

“I think a lot of them are going to go far. Each step they take is going to take them to new places.”

Van Viegen says the class has enjoyed its high school years.

“We’re quite a rowdy bunch but that’s a good thing,” says Van Viegen.

“They are enjoying their life. In my grad year I have made new friends. It is amazing how close you get to your classmates. Now it’s hard to imagine not seeing these people again.”

Those people include the staff at ADSS, says Hart.

“When you are graduating, you have fun with the teachers. They know you and they want to work with you,” says Hart.

“They give you that help if you need it. I like how the teachers prepare you. They want to send out the best they can.”

Van Viegen adds, “it’s part of that community feel. We are in it together.”

As their own high school careers come to a close, the boys have some advice for those who will come after them.

“Have fun, it’s going to go by fast,” counsels Hart. “Of course go to classes; you have to pass them. But have fun.”

Van Viegen agrees.

“Have fun with it. It is serious, but you are graduating. It’s really big, so make it big.”

One of the best ways to enjoy your school years? Get involved.

“It’s so fun to get involved,” says Van Viegen. “I have met new people this year and have stronger bonds.”

Hart adds, “You get to know people better and have great experiences.”

The theme for this year’s graduating ceremony is Hollywood, complete with a red carpet and spotlights to highlight every grad.

Hart is practicing his speech every day.

“I want to recognize the old and the years of ADSS,” says Hart. “But also the bright and new future ahead for the school and especially the grads.”

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

Just Posted

The Alberni Valley Non-Contact Hockey League has suspended play under provincial health orders despite having a strict COVID-19 safety plan. (FILE PHOTO COURTESY TREVOR ZADO)
Adult sports shutdown ‘tough pill to swallow’ says Alberni hockey league president

Hockey, curling suspend play under new provincial COVID-19 orders

Renovations are complete at the Bread of Life and following a final health inspection, the warming centre at the Third Avenue facility will be open a few days a week. (PHOTO COURTESY BREAD OF LIFE SOCIETY)
Port Alberni’s warming centre close to opening

Organizers aim for Dec. 4 pending final health inspection

”Once upon a time…” (METRO CREATIVE)
QUINN’S QUIPS: Who is the creature in the shiny red mask?

Annual Alberni Valley News story contest kicks off for 2020

FILLING THE KETTLES
Hayden Henschel, 3, has fun slipping coins into a Salvation Army kettle on Wednesday, Nov. 25 in front of Walmart. Henschel was shopping with her family when they stopped to make a donation to the kettle campaign. To donate online, visit the website www.fillthekettle.com. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Special to the AV News)
Port Alberni Salvation Army’s kettle campaign seeks donations

Contact-less donations are available online

‘TIS THE SEASON
Wade Addy from Addy Power Ltd. in Errington hangs Christmas lights across the bottom of Johnston Road in Port Alberni on a stormy Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni readies for holiday with festive street lights

Christmas lights have been going up all around town

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

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

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

The opening day on Mount Washington this year was Dec. 4. Screenshot
Mount Washington opens on time, COVID-19 protocols in place

“We’re super excited - it’s been six months in the planning.”

Most Read