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“Speed clubbing” for newbies: Glenbrook students take on school trustees

New Westminster Schools board chair Mark Gifford knows when the game’s up! The Rubik’s Cube club is just one of many clubs engaging students at École Glenbrook Middle School….


February 10, 2018 – It was a “show-don’t-tell” approach to the story of student engagement at École Glenbrook Middle School this week.

Principal Chris Evans threw down the gauntlet for school trustees on the Education Committee who were meeting at the school Tuesday night.

The challenge? To visit nine clubs in 20 minutes.

The goal? To find out just what fills École Glenbrook Middle School’s halls and walls with teen-age enthusiasm.

Twenty-two students from nine clubs were on hand to engage the trustees in a whirlwind tour.

One by one, school trustees found themselves grilled by student reporters in the newspaper club, testing their knowledge with students in the Aboriginal Club, or weathering a blistering Rubik’s cube challenge.

They also visited the the GSA, Library, Robotics, Chess, Choir and Jazz clubs.


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The sound of a trumpet ringing down the halls meant it was time for the speed clubbers to leave one station and move down the hallway to the next.

In making his rounds, school board trustee Casey Cook took on the challenge of the GSA club’s vocabulary scramble, trying to match words with definitions for gender and sexual identities. The club provides a place for students to explore, understand and support the LGBTQI+ community.

Trustee Casey Cook matches definitions with words with the helpful guidance the GSA club reps…

Trustee Jonina Campbell  “lost at chess, was hopeless at Rubiks Cube, but found my stride in jazz band & robotics clubs.”

And for Associate Superintendent Karim Hachlaf, being grilled by student reporters on everything from school resources to his role in the district was just as challenging as the experience with mainstream media.

The students had done their homework, asking some of the key questions facing education in BC – about teacher shortages, accessibility rights for all kids, school capacity for the coming five to 10 years, and how decisions are made about the amount of money that goes to each school.


As Evans explained to the committee, middle school students are characteristically at a stage in their lives where they begin to move away from their attachment to adults and form attachments to their peers.

The active participation of students in a huge array of sports and interest clubs at the school creates a space for peer engagement.

With 14 interest clubs, and another batch of sports clubs, there’s no shortage of opportunity to form friendships and find interests. Each club involves 1 to 3 adults, and as a result ensures active adult guidance.

For trustee Campbell, her first-time experience of “speed clubbing” was a lot of fun.

“Thanks to Glenbrook students for hosting. Great to see so many youth engaged at school.”


It’s back to business after a whirlwind round of speed clubbing with École Glenbrook Middle School students.

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