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Whistler meets world

As the graduating class of 2011 moves out into the world, they'll not quickly forget the town that shaped them

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When not volunteering with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters organizations, all atmosphere at Whistler Secondary made everything about school "really fun."

"It's a small school so every teacher knows every student personally and they could help you out any time you needed them after school," she said. "I'm definitely going to miss the kids and Whistler is such a beautiful place - you go to SFU and everything is so gray and then you come to Whistler... you don't really realize how lucky you are until you look around and see how beautiful it is, it's so green and relaxed, too. Everything in the city is so fast."

Whistler soccer star Cam Baker always knew his love of sport would take him somewhere, so he's ecstatic about being invited back to UBC Okanagan's August training camp which, while not a guarantee, is a positive indicator for landing a spot on the varsity team.

"I have a really good chance to make the team, coach said, and there is scholarship money available, so it's an awesome opportunity," said the 17-year-old, who has been playing soccer since he was four and credits his early Whistler coaches for making the game fun. "I'm going to go into business in university and play soccer and hopefully from there I can - best case scenario - I can keep playing soccer and play professionally somewhere. The Whitecaps would be awesome, that would be a dream come true to play in Vancouver professionally if that's possible."

Principal Oakley sees many a student reach the end of the line and pass through her school's doors - as an educator it's her primary goal to see happy, well rounded and curious students graduate. Overseeing a small school filled with students who regularly juggle a quiver of extra-curricular activities, she's always proud of each graduating class, but while achievement is expected, positive attitudes in adolescents are harder to control.

"Many of our grads are elite athletes as well as top academics achievers. This is not unusual for a Whistler Secondary grad class, but what sets this class apart is that they are so darn nice," she said. "This year's grads for the most part are very appreciative of the support they have received from their teachers, parents and the Whistler community as a whole. They have put that appreciation into action by working in partnership with staff to support the teaching and learning in classes and mentoring younger students in order to help them achieve success in whatever area they choose to pursue.

" Staff and parents alike have commented repeatedly on what a pleasure it has been to work with this grad class. They will be missed."

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