Salem, Va. (WFXR) — This year for high school seniors was anything but normal. Students’ time with friends and educators was cut short due to the unexpected occurrence of COVID-19. Graduations took place virtually, via drive-through, or plans to meet in-person are still to be determined.
This was the case for Calvin Loverude. Calvin attended Glenvar High School for four years. He approached his senior year as most would, but then, the unforseen happened.
It was kind of a mistake on our part because most of us, we didn’t treat COVID-19 seriously at first. It was all the way up until March, but I kind of remember vividly our last day of high school. It was like every other day, we just didn’t think it was going to be the last day.”Calvin Loverude, Glenvar High School Valedictorian
Loverude didn’t return back to school to finish his high school year. Loverude says that it gave him time to reflect, leading to the reality of missing friends as well as the faculty at Glenvar High School.
Out of all the things to expect out of this experience, I never expected to actually want to go back to school. I actually missed going back and I missed seeing my friends, giving each other a high five, and just sitting table length from each other. It’s just not the same, ya, I just miss them. I missed the teachers, everybody, I just never expected that a pandemic would bring that out of me.Calvin Loverude, Glenvar High School Valedictorian
Despite the wrench in plans, all of Loverude’s hard work and dedication to studying earned him a 4.09 GPA. Loverude was named one of Glenvar High School’s Valedictorians, an honor he shared with classmates. As a traditional graduation was not an option, Loverude wrote a valedictorian speech and submitted a video to the school, of which only three were chosen.
I wasn’t one of the ones chosen though, so mine was mainly just a submission.Calvin Loverude, Glenvar High School Valedictorian
However, Loverude repurposed his speech, through U.S. Senator Tim Kaine’s “Everybody’s the Graduation Speaker” video contest.
My mother just heard it one day that he was accepting graduation speeches and we had already filmed a video and then we just submitted it. This was all the way back in late May or early June, so it took a while to hear but still, I just still can’t believe it got 4,000 views.Calvin Loverude, Glenvar High School Valedictorian
Loverude says he’s uncomfortable getting that much attention, but his transparent speech of being a senior in 2020 garnered attention from over 4,000 views on Senator Kaine’s social media page as well as Kaine’s website.
Usually extraordinary things come out of situations that are most dire, so I guess the most extraordinary things in life come out of situations when things are at the worst. I just do hope that somebody out there even if they don’t feel like they can make the stand, will do so in order to make a difference in this world.”Calvin Loverude, Glenvar High School Valedictorian