New principal announced for Whistler Secondary 

Oakley keen to implement Futures Action Plan

Whistler Secondary has a new principal, albeit she is a familiar face.

Beverly Oakley was appointed to the position last weekend and will take up her responsibilities this August.

She has been acting principal at Whistler Secondary for most of the last school year after coming to Whistler in 2002 as vice principal.

"My hope is that we will be able to maintain this administrative team for a few years anyway so that we can get things settled and move ahead in our future directions," said Oakley, adding that she is very excited to take on the position permanently.

She is no stranger to Howe Sound, having worked in the school system here for 22 years.

Indeed her teaching practicum took place at Howe Sound Secondary, which hired her immediately. Oakley stayed at the school for 17 years before moving on to be vice-principal at Don Ross Secondary.

Her focus now, she said is to work on implementing the Secondary School Futures — Action Plan.

The five goals outlined in the Future’s document are:

• To offer greater choice and flexibility for students at Whistler Secondary;

• To continue the pursuit of excellence in all areas;

• To support community involvement in the school and student involvement in the community;

• To continue the development and support of a healthy school climate as a place where every student has respect for others and feels safe;

• To encourage Canadian and International students to attend Whistler Secondary.

"That is the vision that drives the direction we are going in," Oakley said of the goals.

"The other thing that drives it is the school improvement plan in the areas of social responsibility, literacy, and numeracy and that is coming out of the school planning council."

Oakley has already taken steps to implement the plan working with parents to get a Flex Ed program up and running for any students who do a sport or artistic activity at such an advanced level it takes them away from the school during the year.

And she got the community sponsorship program underway as well.

Parent Advisory Council chair Chris Vernon-Jarvis was pleased with the announcement.

"I think the school needed some continuity and (Oakley) is already doing the job so I think the school board made an excellent decision," he said.

"She is very good at initiating projects or getting other people to initiate programs, and she is very open minded and very easy to work with."

Both these qualities will be crucial as the PAC moves forward with its own goals which include creating an atmosphere of academic excellence, especially for students who are struggling and offering as many courses as possible to the small student body.

Vernon-Jarvis hopes to have technology play a key role in keeping course offerings high in the school.

"She listens and she is very good," he said of Oakley.

A new vice principal has also been appointed for Whistler Secondary, Magy Butterfield.

New to the district Butterfield served as acting principal of the Westmount Charter School in Calgary, a Kindergarten to Grade 12 school of 760 gifted students.

Before heading to Calgary she taught senior science and math at Banff Community High School and while there developed a geology project for secondary students in co-operation with the University of Calgary.

She has also taught in the Cariboo-Chilcotin School district, in Bridge Lake and Williams Lake.

Oakey said Butterfield is very excited to be settling in Whistler.

"Being from Banff she is used to being in a mountain community," she said.

"I am certainly excited about the prospect of my new vice principal. We both seem to be right on the same page and we are both very positive about the future here."

Pemberton Secondary School will also get a new vice principal, Glen Overgaard. During this last school year he was the administrative assistant and has been a teacher at the school in previous years.

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