Aldergrove Community Secondary School (ACSS) sent off graduating students on Wednesday, June 23 – in a unique COVID-19-friendly ceremony that saw students and their families individually collect their diplomas.
Including graduates from the AVID program, the three Youth Train in Trades programs (hairstyling, carpentry, and automotive), as well as ACSS’s Advance program – 164 students made up the class of 2021.
The altered ceremony held at the school was planned using Provincial Health Office guidelines in late-May, which allowed for up to four family members to attend.
Jaemin Cha was honoured to be chosen as this year’s Valedictorian – an award he was told had never gone to an international student at ACSS before.
“It means a lot because so many student work hard,” the South Korean native told The Star.
Planning on spending the day to cheer on friends as they collected their diplomas, Cha said his time in Aldergrove has been nothing but positive.
“I love it here and never regret it. Even though it was in challenging times with COVID, everyone welcomed us,” he explained. “It was amazing.”
Cha plans to study commerce at the University of Toronto in the fall.
“Hopefully I survive,” he laughed.
After that, he’ll take some time to travel the world,
“I have a lot of things to do,” Cha assured. “I’ve only just begun.”
With different stages set up – parents and students were separated into different areas of the building; they met up together to enter the gymnasium as a group through a socially distanced corridor of the school.
Family members stood on a specific space (marked by a fuzzy red circular carpet) and were able to snap photos and enjoy the moment as graduates walked the stage, collected their diploma, and had a small bio read about them.
The ceremony will recorded, edited together, and shared with the entire grad class at a later date.
Dialogue and debate are integral to a free society and we welcome and encourage you to share your views on the issues of the day. We ask that you be respectful of others and their points of view, refrain from personal attacks and stay on topic. To learn about our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines.