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Dawn Titus – Defining The Envelope



"I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."

Marilyn Monroe

My little buddy Dylan Boyd is one lucky young man. In fact, I'm a bit envious. And no, I'm not talking about genetics. I'm talking about school. A kindergarten student at Spring Creek Elementary this year, Dylan has the singular good fortune of having a certain Ms. Titus as his teacher.

What? You haven't heard of Dawn Titus? She's a legend in these parts...

It's true. Educator, athlete, elite competitor, movie-mom, mentor, instructor, coach - and an inspiration to Whistler gals (and more than a few guys) for the last three decades - the inimitable Ms. Titus is devoting her not inconsiderable energy these days to wrangling South Whistler's rambunctious five-year olds.

Frankly, I can't imagine a more daunting task. Fun, for sure (yeah - maybe for an hour or two). But riding herd on 22 happy-faced, question-filled, mischief-making Whistler tots for five days a week, ten months a year? Oh, my aching head...

But somehow it fits. For Dawn is no ordinary human, think endorphin-charged Energizer Bunny - but without the need for batteries. I mean, this woman is a walking, talking perpetual motion machine. Wanna go for a bike ride to Pemberton? Dawn's ready. How about a stretch of Nordic skiing? Same. Or what about combining a handful of sports in one day? No problem. What's more, Ms. Titus can probably loan you whatever equipment you're missing. And teach you something about the sport along the way...

That's why I envy Dylan so much. He and his classmates couldn't be more fortunate to have the teacher they do. For if one subscribes to the old adage: "it takes a village to raise a child", the indomitable Ms. Titus reflects all that is positive and outgoing and envelope-stretching and fun about the Whistler community.

And you know what? If not for one phone call, her life trajectory might never have swung through Whistler. It all happened in the spring of 1983... But wait, why should I tell the story? Let's hear it directly from Dawn:

"Well, you know," she says, "the more I reflect back on my life, the more it seems that certain things were just meant to be..."

Like the phone call that came out of the blue from B.C. Alpine's Bruce Goldsmid? "Exactly," she says. "There we were - two young, recently-graduated teachers from Ontario - living and working in Grande Cache, Alberta." She stops speaking. "Do you know where Grande Cache is?" she asks. "It's a very small town northwest of Edmonton and surrounded by moose and muskeg." She sighs. "I was already set for a change. I'd just found out I was pregnant with twins and all I could think about was packing up the car and heading for home."