Jaeden Demelo, Edward Milne Community School

Since they were unable to make their speeches in front of all of their classmates, friends and family, we asked valedictorians — and one class historian — from south Island schools to share them with us. This is an excerpt from one of the submissions.

Jaeden Demelo, class historian Edward Milne Community School, Sooke

Next year: In January, I plan to volunteer in Spain as an English teacher. After that, I hope to go to school to pursue a career in sportscasting.

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This year was much different from years past and, I’m sure, as years to come will be. My grad class is graduating after not being at school for the last three months of our high school careers. Under normal circumstances, we would’ve already walked across the stage and grabbed our diplomas at our graduation ceremony, and would’ve been almost time to get all dressed up and go to our prom. Unfortunately, we are not under normal circumstances right now.

Fortunately, our teachers and staff have adapted as best they can in hopes to make our grad year as great as possible in these times. Like in years past, we had a grad spirit week, but a little different as we sent in our pictures from home of us wearing our “quarantine fit” or grad wear and a few other fun outfits for a week. Some teachers put together a video on YouTube for us to watch. We sent in questions about our grad class, then joined teams to play via video chat.

Although our grad class hasn’t had the same end of Grade 12 as past classes, we were very fortunate to still be able to walk across the stage. The class was put into groups of 20 and allowed to wear our cap and gowns and grab our diplomas as we crossed the stage, and a year-end video was made to celebrate.

The graduating class of 2020, not only at EMCS but over the world, will be connected because of these very unique and rare circumstances.

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