The ACS Inside Out blog is excited to present Walking the Halls, a summer blog series featuring eight stories, about eight alumni, written by eight current students. This project began out of the curiosity of students in our English 11 class, and a teacher who knew how to make the most of it.
Mrs. Dani deJong explains:
“I saw a post on the school Facebook page a while back that generated lots of traffic. It was a picture of a group of girls in the hall down in the science wing and people were invited to guess what year the picture was from in order to win a prize. People did guess and someone must have won a prize, but what my English 11 students noticed when I showed them the post, was the conversation that erupted around the picture. Comments about where time had gone, the crazy hair styles, who had last seen whom abounded. We then pulled out the entire yearbook stash from the library and spent a great period looking at the things the alumni did all those years ago. It generated a lot of questions: What were they doing? Why was that happening? We decided that there were a lot of memories out there generated from the halls of this building. And, since the halls are soon going to be brought down in the renovation, we wondered how we could keep these stories in a more permanent way. We figured the best way was to ask the people in the photos to tell us their stories. We invited a news anchor/reporter in from CTV to tell us how to conduct a good interview and we set out to find our stories. Some are funny, some are sad, but they all have meaning to the people that walked the halls of ACS.”
Part Eight: SCHOOL RELATIONS
Alumni: Sydney Stoker | Student Author: Mikayla Stoker
My dad, Sydney Stoker, loves socializing with people; I was always that kid trying to drag their dad out of the building to go home. I’ve always known he’s a people person, since he’s constantly having conversations with people; however, I did not know that it goes way back into the halls of his high school years.
When I asked who he usually hung out with at ACS, he said he hung out with just about everyone in the same grade. Especially, of course, according to him the smarter ones were often the other farmers, which means they always had something to talk about, since all farmers love their jobs with a passion. I think ACS impacted my dad a lot through the friends he made, and through his many experiences there.
My dad’s favourite classes in school consisted of chemistry and foods classes. He liked chemical experiments very much. One time, Mr. Vanderchans put a hole in the ceiling from a sodium and water experiment.
My dad also had lots of fun in foods class hanging out with his buddies, and making all kinds of foods. They made a lot of their favourite dishes; his group’s customized dish was bacon and eggs spaghetti.
Not only did my dad love foods class and chemistry class, he also liked sports day. However, sports days back then were quite different from how they are now. They were done at the ACS campus because Rotary Stadium only became available toward the end of his schooling. At the sports days, teachers and students sometimes played baseball games against one another. It brought them together as a community and strengthened relationships. Other events at sports days included the usual running events as well as the regular field events. However, javelin was not done as often due to a lack of space to throw in. On the days when my dad actually went to sports days, instead of playing hooky to do crops, he often participated in some running events and threw the javelin when it was available.
My dad had a lot of fun in his classes and at sports day; however, his most meaningful moments in high school happened in his last year of high school, especially during the class of 1986’s grad trip to California. Their grad trip bonded their entire class.
Throughout most of high school, his grade was fragmented but, their grad year really pulled them together. They did lots of stuff together during their California trip, including going to Universal Studios, and going to the Santa Cruse beach. My dad even tried surfing, but he apparently wasn’t any good at it. The beach was an awesome experience, in his opinion, because it was very empty. This was due to the Californian locals thinking 20 or 22 degrees was “crazy” weather. Of course, coming from Abbotsford, my dad and the rest of his grad class thought it was warm and perfect weather to go to the beach.
They hung out with everyone, instead of their usual groups, thus causing my dad’s grad class to become a much closer group of individuals. They started to see each other as equals, since they were each going to be graduating and moving on to further education. The cliques were all brought together due to the huge amounts of effort put in by the grad committee to include and bond all of the graduating students. Their class connected with different people when they never would have before, and my dad made a lot of new friends during his grad year. Even though he typically hung out with everyone, he was never super close to those not in his usual group. Because of this, the process of the cliques disbanding was very fun for my dad to see; all the social barriers came down and they became one group united as the graduating class of 1986.
Going to ACS in high school has definitely shaped who my dad is now. The teachers pointed him towards a Christ filled life which he continues to live now, and he made friendships that he still has today. Although, he does regret losing touch with some of his grad class after high school, he’s glad that they all connected more in the end before being thrust into the real world. I think our family’s lives would be much different if my dad hadn’t gone to ACS in high school, because his experiences there greatly impacted his relationships afterwards.