Cara was frankly scared when she joined a class of only 12 students in Grade 5 at
. "I had come from a school where there were 40 in my class," she says. "I never felt so exposed. Everyone (in her new class) knew everyone else's name. It was an eye-opener for me."
At her old school, she had been getting Cs and Bs. "My first year, there were ups and downs," she remembers. "I didn't think when I came here that I was capable of achieving the honour roll."
She credits small classes and two teachers in particular with giving her the confidence to succeed-a biology teacher and a history teacher. By graduation this past summer, she was a straight-A student and student committee president.
"I don't think it's necessarily intelligence," she says. "It's effort. Hard work and determination get you where you want to go." She becomes thoughtful: "If I hadn't come here, I don't think I would have been the same person."
It's a few days before graduation. After eight years at
, Cara is off to study history at the University of Ottawa. "(Leaving) will probably be the saddest day of my life," she says, "and the most exciting."