LTCHS valedictorian reflects on her high school career

Setting a goal to achieve well academically has landed Alexa Swenson a top honour as she gets ready to walk across the graduation stage.

Alexa has been named the valedictorian for the Class of 2021 at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School.

“I was so surprised when I learned I was this year’s valedictorian! Mr. Good called my mom ahead of time and came to my doorstep with balloons. It was awesome,” she said. “It’s really a great acknowledgement of my achievements.”

Finishing high school during a global pandemic was no easy feat, and Alexa said her class was hopeful that their Grade 12 year would have been more like a normal year.

“As the year went on it became obvious that we probably wouldn’t get all of our grad events - we had lots planned and then canceled,” she said. “Motivation was the hardest factor. It’s been really hard to go from in-person to online over and over again because you’re learning strategies have to shift. It’s about being self disciplined and making sure you are doing the work because it’s really easy to fall behind if you’re at home.”

Alexa credits a strong support system for helping her achieve her goals.

“My family is awesome and I have two younger siblings who have also been doing online school in our house as well. We check in with each other and make sure everything is going okay,” she said. “My friends were great as well. Each of my classes had a group chat where we could talk and make sure we all knew what was going on and discuss any questions we had with each other.”

Reflecting on her Grade 12 year, Alexa said one of the highlights was taking part in the activities in her Outdoor Ed class.

“One of the best parts was being given the opportunity to go on some trips,” she said. “We were able to go skiing a couple times and we just did a mountain bike trip. We were able to really bond as a class by going on these trips together.”

Looking ahead, next year Alexa will be making the leap to the University of Victoria to complete her Bachelor of Science in Psychology.

“I’d like to go into healthcare, maybe in rehabilitation as an Occupational Therapist or a Speech Pathologist,” she said. “I love being around people and last year I volunteered with Healing Through the Arts at our school. We would do art as rehabilitation for people who had a stroke or people who had an amputation. I thought it was really fulfilling and I enjoyed getting to know everyone involved.”

Chris Good, Principal at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, said they are proud to have Alexa represent the class of 2021 as valedictorian.

“Alexa is a great student whose hard work has paid off with excellent academic achievement all four years she has been at Lindsay Thurber,” he said. “Alexa is not only a great student but a great person. She is kind to everyone, participates and leads school activities and has been a member of the volleyball team. Alexa goes out of her way to make other students feel welcome and included, she represents the resilience and kindness of our 2021 grad class and embodies what it means to be a Lindsay Thurber Raider.”