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Whistler Grad perspectives

This semester, it was possible to open a class for students interested in Writing 12 or Journalism 12.


Since the students were not in the same block, they worked on their own for more than half of their time. One project for the Journalism students was to interview as many past graduates of Whistler Secondary that they could reach and question them about what they had done since their graduating year and what advice they could give to current students.

Finally, the students wanted to formulate a conclusion about how growing up here, and attending a small high school had affected what students did after graduating.

The following three articles attempt to answer these questions.

– Gail Rybar

Some past graduates

By Dee Toporowski < "After Graduation, the world seems to be a whole lot bigger," says Jeff Beatty, a 2002 graduate of Whistler Secondary.  "There’s a sudden realization that you will have to work for a living and pay your own way through life."

Adults in our community often wonder what has happened to the grads from our local school. Research done by Journalism 12 students this past month would suggest that most are doing well, and doing many different things.

Coming from a small high school does not seem to be a disadvantage when it comes to post—secondary success. WSS has sent far more students to university than many much larger schools.

The students who attained the award of Top Academic standing in their Grade 12 year have all gone on to university. Andrea Rybar and Alison Murray, top grads in 1997 and ’98, and Andrew Bennett and Carrie Davies, who left here in 2000 and 2001, have all completed Bachelor’s Degrees from SFU, UBC and Acadia.

Andrea and Alison have already embarked on post-graduate studies. Haley DeKraker, Jen Barkman, Michael Daugulis and Megan McKeever are all currently successful UBC students. A glance at the plaques listing those students who earned Provincial Scholarships on their Grade 12 exams reveals that most are continuing their academic careers.

WSS has attempted to provide programs for athletes who are pursing athletic goals beyond what is usual when students are at school. Jeff Hume and Britt Janyk, graduates of 1998, are members of Canada’s National Ski Team. Younger siblings, Mike Janyk (2000) and Scott Hume (2001) have joined them, as has Christina Risler (2001).

The school’s most renowned snowboarder, Mercedes Nicoll, is looking like a strong contender for the 2006 Olympic Games. Danielle O’Reilly, a grad from 2001, continues to golf while she finishes her degree at the University of Tennessee. Ben Thornhill, who completed his studies in 2002, is ski racing and studying at the University of Utah on a full scholarship. Brook Baker (2003) continues her bike racing while studying at UVic.