‘High-calibre humanitarian’ earns Governor-General’s Academic Medal

Emma Dubé was pretty surprised when she got a phone call from her former principal recently.
Luckily, Wayne Friesen had good news: the 17-year-old from Comox is Highland Secondary School's Governor-General's Academic Medal winner as the school's top graduating student.



Emma Dubé was pretty surprised when she got a phone call from her former principal recently.Luckily, Wayne Friesen had good news: the 17-year-old from Comox is Highland Secondary School’s Governor-General’s Academic Medal winner as the school’s top graduating student.Dubé is doing the dual admission program at North Island College (NIC) and will go to the University of Victoria (UVic) next year. She is leaning toward studying archeology.”Archeology and anthropology is the study of people throughout time and space,” she said. “It’s a combination of art, which I love, and history and ideas and understanding people and where they came from. It’s almost like soul searching, almost understanding myself and others.”Dubé says she’s also interested in archeology because it gives you a chance to travel to other countries and learn about other cultures.Dubé, who received a $20,000 entrance scholarship to UVic, was surprised to hear she’d won the Governor-General’s Academic Medal.”It’s a total surprise, and I’m really grateful I had the opportunity to do this, to work really hard and have that nice surprise,” she said. The Governor-General’s Academic Medal is awarded to the student graduating with the highest average from a high school. Past winners include Pierre Trudeau, Tommy Douglas, Kim Campbell, Robert Bourassa, Robert Stanfield and Gabrielle Roy.Michele Genge, Dubé’s Advisory Group (AG) teacher, has been impressed by Dubé’s academic, social and musical exceptionality, she wrote in a reference letter.During her time at Highland, Dubé was an A-plus student and was on the Honours Roll every semester. She informally tutored her classmates in English 12 and Biology 12.”She not only strives for top marks; she continually looks for ways to learn more,” wrote Genge, who describes Dubé as “a humanitarian of high calibre.”She was a member of the Interact Club and has been “the backbone” of the AG’s Christmas Hamper donations, bringing in wrapped gifts and special items every year, explained Genge.”She works in quiet ways but also has a clear voice that carries weight with her peers,” she wrote. “She is the one in discussions who will stand against the tidal wave of cynicism and indifference and turn it back with her words of hope and possibility.”Dubé, an army cadet, played in the school band for years and has played in the Comox Valley Pipe Band Society and has taught snare drumming to cadets for three years and helped with the Highland Games.”Emma has many gifts and talents, so you would never imagine that she accomplishes all of this with an invisible disability,” wrote Genge. “She has been deaf in her right ear since birth.”Dubé enjoyed her time at Highland.”It was a good environment for just learning because the teachers are really motivated and really care about their jobs and want to make an impact,” she said. “I think that’s why I did so well in school, because the teachers were so relatable.”writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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

Just Posted

Rogan is a three-year-old border collie who has an 'incredible bond' between him and a family member. Photo by Erin Haluschak
‘Incredible bond’ credited for dog who assisted in emergency

Three-year-old dog Rogan came to the rescue of a family member who fell

A map of Comox Valley schools. Screenshot, Fraser Institute
Comox Valley schools near mid-pack in Fraser Institute rankings

A few schools went up or down a few points, but most came in with similar marks

Last year, the Sharing the Christmas Spirit Hamper Program operated at the old St. Joseph’s Hospital site. File photo
Christmas hamper program finds space in Courtenay

An annual Christmas hamper program in the Comox Valley has found a… Continue reading

During a public hearing in November, a Comox resident proposed the idea of a roundabout at the intersection of Lerwick and McDonald Roads. Google Maps photo
Comox development get the green light

The development - at 2309 McDonald Rd. - received third reading at the most recent council meeting

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

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

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Blackberry Lane Children’s Centre outgrown its space in the back of the Denman Island Community Hall. Photo supplied
Denman Island to have new preschool with metal roof

Thanks to a local government grant and community support, the Denman Island… Continue reading

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read