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Just something in the water?

Graduate Zack Filler gives us an inside look at why Whistler Secondary’s Class of 2002 is special

Well, it’s over. A little anticlimactic, but that is only my opinion.

The year started off with an attempt to outdo last years grad class – not with marks, but with something infinitely more important: Pranks. I wasn’t really invited to take part, but I did observe the aftermath.

On the first day of school students and teachers were greeted at the entrance of the school with a pile of tires and spray paint.

"WSS 2002" was everywhere. The die had been cast.

For the next four months grad activities were few and far between, but that was probably a good thing as most of us had taken on a little bit more than we could chew academically. At least at the beginning.

Hailey DeKraker, is one such individual who had a full plate. If ambition were one of the seven deadly sins she would be in deep trouble. She tried to take almost every course for which there is a provincial exam, and finished the year completing five out of a possible six courses.

And when anything needed doing in the community you didn’t have to ask – she was there.

Not surprisingly, DeKraker finished with the highest average in the graduating class. She is also the youngest. On top of all this she has also been accepted at UBC, with her tuition waived.

DeKraker, like me, is from the very first graduating class to go all the way from Grade 7 to 12.

"It is a milestone in our town," said DeKraker. "It shows how far we have come as a community. This is a high achieving class and that’s why the average is so good."

In this year’s grad class, about one-third of the students have averages over 80 per cent. She feels that it’s "just something in the water."

Speaking of water, she is excited about the upcoming Dry Grad.

"I think it shows what we can accomplish as a grad class." Of course she has been asked this question about a thousand times already and was about as excited to answer it as I was to ask.

Next year she will be at UBC earning her BA, still doing us proud.

Justin Hebb takes a very different approach to graduating than DeKrakker.

The description of someone "moving sideways" is tailor-made for him. This year he only took on "as much as I need to graduate."

At first he’s the quiet guy, but once you get to know him he’s bright and really funny. He’s just not in a hurry to go anywhere, as he told me during one of our many Friday bull sessions.

He had enough courses to graduate in January and spent his remaining school time finishing off Biology 12 by correspondence. His plans for next year include working and doing some upgrading of his current courses with Chemistry 11, Chemistry 12 and Physics 12. So much for being a slacker.

Being in the same school from Grade 7 to 12 was, "a long haul, but for the most part it was pretty good," said Hebb.

He believes that our grad class has had such high grades because, "they want to be successful and do something good in the future."

Sooner or later, anyway.

See you at grad.