Dyson Blitterswyk with the Governor General’s Medal for academic excellence at Chemainus Secondary School in 2019-20. (Photo by Gloria Blitterswyk)

Dyson Blitterswyk with the Governor General’s Medal for academic excellence at Chemainus Secondary School in 2019-20. (Photo by Gloria Blitterswyk)

Governor General’s Medal another reward for Blitterswyk’s hard work

Banner pandemic year for Chemainus Secondary valedictorian, now in UVic virtual engineering classes

Few people have anything good to say about what’s been going on in 2020 since the emergence of COVID-19.

For Dyson Blitterswyk, it’s been a banner year. The Chemainus Secondary School Class of 2020 valedictorian and abundant scholarship winner is also the school’s recipient of the 2019-20 Governor General’s Academic Medal.

“I was first notified that I won a major school award in mid-October, but I wasn’t told exactly which award it was until I figured it out for myself,” noted Blitterswyk.

Chemainus Secondary’s Vice Principal Jennie Hittinger organized a meeting with Blitterswyk so he could be presented the award in person, with his family present.

“I totally had no idea that I would be this year’s winner of the Governor General’s award, but that’s simply due to my mind being preoccupied with a post-secondary workload, and I forgot all about the award,” explained Blitterswyk.

His high school Grade Point Average came in at about 98.2 per cent overall.

“I am more than honoured to receive the award because I know that it’s a highly prestigious award and not an easy achievement,” conceded Blitterswyk. “I can only say that I am very thankful to receive the Governor General’s award this year and it’ll be something that I’ll keep for my entire life and look back on if I ever need a reminder that hard work pays off.”

It has been a rough, strange and tiring year, and yet so rewarding, he conceded.

“Even though 2020 is so different from any other year I’ve lived through, it makes our grad year special and just as memorable, as much for the good reasons as for the bad,” Blitterswyk pointed out. “I would sum it up simply by saying that working hard does pay off, even if it doesn’t seem like it at first. If you just stay focused on what’s important and what you want to achieve, the things that try to slow your progress will eventually be worn down. The pandemic could have changed things for us, but we didn’t let it.”

He’s now in the engineering program through UVic, all online for now.

“University is not easy, whether it’s online or not,” Blitterswyk indicated. “I am managing to do fairly well for the current status of things. Studying at home can be lonely, tiring and just plain boring, but as long as I know I have the weekend to look forward to, the weeks fly by. It really has gone by very quickly. It’s hard to believe that there’s just a month left of work before the semester is over. Virtual classes are obviously very different from live classes, but I find that I can learn from them just as effectively as I would from an in-person class.

“Sure, it’s not what I was expecting, but I know that me and many other students I have talked to are adapting to this change. Nothing can be done until the pandemic is over, and we all seem to be managing the home-based studying. As hard as engineering can be, I know that I will get through it and put as much effort as I can into my studies, and I know this because of the Governor General’s award.”

AwardsCoronavirusSchools

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

 

Presentations aren’t quite the same because of COVID so Chemainus Secondary School principal Lori Hryniuk resorts to an elbow bump with Dyson Blitterswyk in congratulations for his Governor General’s Medal for Chemainus Secondary. (Photo by Kellie Chadwick)

Presentations aren’t quite the same because of COVID so Chemainus Secondary School principal Lori Hryniuk resorts to an elbow bump with Dyson Blitterswyk in congratulations for his Governor General’s Medal for Chemainus Secondary. (Photo by Kellie Chadwick)

Achieving the highest average at Chemainus Secondary School secured the Governor General’s Medal for Dyson Blitterswyk. (Photo by Kellie Chadwick)

Achieving the highest average at Chemainus Secondary School secured the Governor General’s Medal for Dyson Blitterswyk. (Photo by Kellie Chadwick)

Just Posted

Chemainus Fire Department members ventilate smoke at the former Kinney Clothing Co. location after a call Saturday afternoon. (Photo by Andrea Rondeau)
Fire crews ventilate smoke at former Kinney Clothing Co. location

Industrial floor sander dust collection bag overheats

The Chemainus Theatre Festival’s Playbill Dining Room reopened to host small musical performances. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Chemainus Theatre receives Island Coastal Economic Trust funding

Project will involve recording and live-streaming Playbill Presents series content

Beautiful morning with the sun peaking through, as viewed from Thetis Island. (Photo by Kelly Bannister)
November characterized by a record high, no snow and plenty of rain in Chemainus region

Temperature almost hits the 20 degree Celsius mark on Nov. 4

The CVRD will reconsider its policies on fireworks after receiving complaints. (File photo)
CVRD considers options for fireworks after receiving complaints

District only allows fireworks on Halloween and New Year’s Eve, with a permit

Chemainus author Robyn Gerland. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Gerland shares personal story of the season

Chemainus author’s offering features in Chicken Soup for the Soul Christmas publication

12-year-old Ella Smiley captured some video of orcas on a sea lion hunt on Nov. 28 at Kitty Coleman Park, just north of Courtenay. Photo by Ella Smiley
VIDEO: Orcas hunt sea lion near Vancouver Island shoreline

Twelve-year-old Ella Smiley, of Comox Valley Wildlife Sightings, caught up with a… Continue reading

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

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

BIG SALMON ranch in Washington State. (Center for Whale Research handout)
Non-profit buys Chinook ranch in hopes of increasing feed for southern resident killer whales

The ranch, which borders both sides of Washington State’s Elwha River, is a hotspot for chinook salmon

Gaming content was big on YouTube in 2020. (Black Press Media files)
What did Canadians watch on Youtube during isolation? Workouts, bird feeders

Whether it was getting fit or ‘speaking moistly,’ Canadians had time to spare this year

(Needpix.com)
Fraudsters projected to use pet scams to gouge over $3M from customers: BBB

The pandemic heavily contributed to the number of puppy scams

A teacher places the finishing touches on the welcome sign at Hunter’s Glen Junior Public School which is part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scarborough, Ont., on Sept. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Hindsight 2020: How do you preserve a year many Canadians would rather forget?

Figuring out how to preserve the story of the pandemic poses a series of challenges

Haley Callison. (Facebook photo)
Former B.C. pro hockey player frustrated with COVID-deniers after horrific bout with virus

Haleigh Callison hopes people will follow precautions and tone down the rhetoric

Most Read