The Best of FJORD in 2020

The Front Doors to WCI: FJORD’s Main Headquarters. Photo taken by Wei W.

It has been the observation of many that 2020 was a particularly difficult year. However, despite these difficulties, FJORD has been working hard to bring you articles and stories on a variety of subjects throughout the year.

This year, FJORD functioned as the publishing platform for two journalism classes, one in the spring semester, and one in the fall quadmester, as well as the newly formed FJORD club. 

A great deal of work has been done throughout this time to put together content for the site, and we would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of that work.

What follows is a compilation of some of the year’s highlights:  articles and reporters’ work featured on FJORD this year. A great reading list, if you ask us!

Top 10 Most Viewed Articles Published in 2020

Here is the top 10 list for stories published in the last year and their creators, ranked by views. Whatever made these stories surpass the others is beyond us, although come to think of it, we should probably start looking into it!

  1. Opinion: How Many More Names? – Eliana Moses
  2. Smart Serve Ontario Offers Free Certification for Month of April – Albert Ton
  3. Graduates’ and Fifth Years’ Literacy Test Requirement Waived for 2020-21 School Year – Jonathan Irvine
  4. WCI’s Nelly T Finds His Best Job Yet, During a Pandemic – Aleda Klassen
  5. Birds of Prey: Female Power at Its Finest – Kezea Shayne Gamboa
  6. 10 Quaran-Things To Do While You are #StayingHome – Kezea Shayne Gamboa
  7. Resolutions: A Feature of Indigenous Issues at WCI – Sam Domzella
  8. Waterloo Father Organizes Car Rally to Thank First Responders – Kaylee Ainsworth
  9. Graduating Students Reconsider Fifth Year of High School Due to COVID-19 – Chantel Trinh
  10. Top 5 Hairstyles in Quarantine – Christine Hahn

Our Top Topics Covered in 2020

Many of the stories that were published this year, while they were unique in their own way, covered similar topics/issues or were in a similar style as other stories on the site. Here are some of our favourite topics covered this year:


Jett S. pictured during a playoff game against Elmira District Secondary School last year. Photo contributed by Hailey M.

There were a few stories published about sports this year. Joie Waldner Khan wrote about the many ways in which WCI’s sports teams lost their chances to compete in their sports, not just because of the pandemic. Soomin Oh reported on the cancellations of sports in the fall, as well as some happier sports-related news, in the form of Darci M. being accepted to play for the University of Guelph Gryphons.


Students attend physical education classes in the cafeteria this year. Photo by Sidra Ismail.

Due to the pandemic, classes of all types had to change how they run, and this trend was reported on several times this year. James Rothwell and Jonathon Irvine both reported on changes to gym classes, each of them focusing on different aspects of the story. Zoe Sanderson wrote about the changes made to comm tech classes, and Sam Domzella did the same for strings classes. Early on in the pandemic, Indigo Skinner provided coverage of issues facing consumers, including the toilet paper crisis.

International Students

Huajun moved to Canada so that she could live with her children while they attend school here. Photo by Dian Sun.

There were a couple stories this year about international students and their experiences. Dian Sun wrote a story about how more international students have been coming to study in Canada, and one about the added pressures they face, and Nicolas Ni wrote about students who were unable to return to their home countries due to the pandemic.

Walk for Hope

WCI’s fundraiser met its financial and distance goals. Members of Student Activities supported organizing the event. Photo by Liam Orsborn.

One of the more uplifting topics covered in the last year was WCI’s Walk for Hope Fundraiser, an event to help reunite a Syrian family that had been separated for many years while trying to flee to Canada, which ended up raising $15,000. Sydra Ismail wrote about the event before-hand, and Liam Orsborn covered the end results.

Election 2020

Lucy Shellhammer fills out her absentee registration form to vote in the 2020 US Election.

Besides the reporting that was done on events within the school, we also covered events beyond WCI, one of the big ones being the 2020 United States presidential election. Lucy Shellhammer, being from California, told the story of her registering to vote and then voting in the election in two parts, and Johanna Hatlem covered the controversies surrounding the election just after the results came in.

Racial Issues

A scene from the Black Lives Matter protest in Kitchener in June. Photo by Ahmet Yildirim.

Another important issue outside of WCI which was covered by FJORD this year is the issue of racial division and the Black Lives Matter movement. Eliana Moses, Christine Hahn, and Johanna Hatlem all wrote articles giving their opinions on this topic, each with its own focus.

Our Top Stories of 2020

There were also many articles published on the site which we want to draw your attention to as noteworthy content in 2020:

WCI’s Chess Club Moved Online and It’s Working – Emrehan Kilic

Photo by Emrehan Kilic.

Emrehan reports on WCI’s Chess Club, and the success that they have had in the transition to strictly online meetings.

28 Days in Isolation: A FJORD Staff Member’s Journey Home to China – Ziang Li

Passengers line up at the Toronto Lester B. Pearson Airport on April 1. Photo by Ziang Li.

This article chronicles Ziang’s story when he tries to return home to his home in China in the spring.

Resolutions: A Feature of Indigenous Issues at WCI – Sam Domzella

The opening ceremony for WCI’s Indigenous medicinal garden. Photo taken by Ms. Klassen.

This feature discusses all of the things that WCI has been doing to address Indigenous issues recently, from the Indigenous medicinal garden to the inclusion of Indigenous issues in classrooms.

Birds of Prey: Female Power at Its Finest – Kezea Shayne Gamboa

Photo from Wallpaper Abyss.

In this piece, Kezea Shayne Gamboa presents her thoughts on Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey, in a marvelously entertaining way.

Graduating Students Reconsider Fifth Year of High School Due to COVID-19 – Chantel Trinh

Photo by Mountain View Studio.

Chantel Trinh talks to seniors at WCI who, after the lockdown was extended in early April, were considering taking a victory lap the following year.

A Conversation: Emma and Lucy Talk Climate Change  – Lucy Shellhammer

The ION light-rail train. Photo by Fatima Khan.

In this article, Lucy Shellhammer and Emma Glass present a dialogue about climate change, the effects it has had, and what is being done to address it, particularly in Waterloo Region.

And there you have it! We hope that you were able to find something that peaked your interest.

We would also like to thank our readers for their support during the past year, and the encouragement to carry on through the difficulties it presented. 

Here’s to 2021: may it be all the better!

Speaking of 2021, if you are interested in contributing to FJORD in the next year, let us know via email!

Featured photo was taken by Wei W.