Feature - First among equals 

A year of firsts for the Class of 2002 and the Whistler community

They are the first class to go all the way from Grade 7 to graduation at Whistler Secondary.

They are the first students to successfully organize a dry grad celebration.

They are the first class to have six students whose academic average is over 90 per cent.

It’s likely these grads will be awarded more scholarships than any other Whistler grad class and more of them will go onto university than ever before.

"I can sum up my impressions of this class in one word," said principal Ken Davies.

"Awesome."

It’s pretty hard not to feel like toasting this class and giving the community a few healthy pats on the back when you learn about the Grads of 2002.

Not only does the class boast academic over-achievers, there are artistic stars and possibly future Olympians too.

"They are versatile and engaging," said Davies.

"They are full of life. They strive toward excellence in everything that they do.

"They try to gather as much out of life as they can. I’ve learned a lot from them in just being part of it.

"I’m going into my 26 th year in education and there is no question that this is one of the grad classes that will stand out as a bench mark in my career."

Davies isn’t surprised that this class, of all the recent grad classes, has been the one to pull off something different and have a Dry Grad.

"They have really broken the ground and it wasn’t a surprise that they could do it," he said.

"What started out as an idea led to action. And because they are willing to be objective, willing to take some risks, this is what the result is.

"This sends a message that we are trying to keep our youth safe. It’s a message with regard to making appropriate choices.

"We do not want any of our kids to be statistics as is the case at this time of the year across the province.

"It is an opportunity to have a healthy alternative choice done within the spirit it is intended for. It will be wonderful. It is going to be just a hoot."

The grads will get gussied up tomorrow for their prom at the Westin. After the dinner-dance they will be bussed to Myrtle Philip Community School to take part in the first Dry Grad.

While the idea of a Dry Grad has come up before it has never successfully been held as students didn’t support it.

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