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Dec 2021


Also Inside:

The Story of Dr. David Ward, page 4

Student Clubs at the Secondary Campus, page 14

The Fitness Challenge for Refugee Families, page 18

Secondary Open House

Grade 7 - 12

Thursday, January 20, 2021

Small Group Tours from 4:30 – 7:30pm

Learn how John Knox Christian School is equipping Grade 7-12 students for a life of

transformation and service through excellent Christ-centred education.

Register for a 30-minute tour of our new secondary campus. Families will hear about

school programs, curriculum, faith perspective and detailed information about our

admissions procedures.

Register for our in-person small group tours:


Secondary Campus

260 12th Street,

New Westminster, BC V3M 4H2


4 14 18

The Story of Dr. David Ward

page 4

David shares about his family

Christmas traditions, his new role

as superintendent of John Knox, and

his senior administrative team.

Rooftop Rejoicing!

page 8

Students are enjoying the new

rooftop by playing basketball &

badminton games and sitting to

admire the beautiful views.

Encounter Days

page 10

JKCS Photo Gallery

page 12

Student Clubs at the

Secondary Campus

page 14

Among the 20 clubs at our

Secondary Campus, we highlight the

stories of Bricks of Encouragement,

KnoxVine, and The Acacia Project.

Repairing Bikes to Help

New Families in Canada

page 16

The Grade 6 Band Practices

in a Church Sanctuary

page 17

The Fitness Challenge for

Refugee Families

page 18

Students from each homeroom class

participated in 6 different physical

challenges to raise awareness and funds

for refugee families.

John Knox Hawks Update

page 20

Alumni Interview:

University in a Pandemic

page 22

Kristine Bernardino shares about

the university experience during a

pandemic, reflections on high school

at John Knox, and keeping in touch

with teachers.

Knox News is a publication of

John Knox Christian School

8260 13th Avenue,

Burnaby, BC

V3N 2G5

Visit our website:


All content © copyright 2021.

No parts of this magazine may be

reproduced in whole or in part without

express permission.

Letters to the Editor

We invite questions, comments, story

ideas, as well as any general feedback

you may have to the Knox News. Please

email the editorial team at development@


Knox News is produced by:

Editor: Arusha Vegt

Editorial team: Gloria Redaon, Tim Chan,

and Olive Chan

Design: Tyler Tsuyuki

Printed in Canada: Bart Van Der Linde of


Pictured on the Cover: Student playing

badminton on the new secondary rooftop.

Back Cover Photo: Students playing

volleyball on the new secondary rooftop.



By Arusha Vegt, Development Director

Dr. David Ward playing foosball with secondary students

Dr. David Ward has taken on the

new role of superintendent at John

Knox Christian School this year. With

700 students, 110 staff, and two growing

campuses, this is a vital role as JKCS

looks ahead to a future that is firmly

rooted in God’s word and prepares

students for a life of service and

transformation. Along with the addition

of the new role of superintendent, the

JKCS administration team has grown

with some familiar faces and some

wonderful new additions.

David’s lengthy post-secondary

education started at Trinity Western

University and ended with a PhD from

UBC. Before joining the JKCS community

5 years ago, David was the director of the

elementary education program at Lewis

and Clark College in Portland, Oregon

where he taught literacy courses while

also observing teachers and schools

across the state.

Having made his home in North

Vancouver with his wife Ariana, a BC

crown prosecutor, David spends his

time writing books, playing hockey and

“old man” soccer, and connecting with

their three children. Their 21-year-old

son, Owen, studies health sciences at

the University of Toronto as well as

participates in theatre and hockey. Holly

is a freshman at the University of Texas

where she received a scholarship to

play soccer as a Longhorn beside fellow

Canadian Julia Grosso (who is known for

scoring the gold medal winning penalty

kick in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics). Grade

10 student, Tessa, studies at a French

immersion school, a particular joy for

David who was born in Quebec.

Their family is excited to have everyone

together for Christmas where they

will continue Ward family Christmas

traditions including Advent Conspiracy,

started at their former church in

Portland, which encourages people to

love more and spend less.

David sat down with us to share his

thoughts on his role at JKCS today,

his plans for the future, and what this

administrative team means to him.

Superintendent is a new position

at JKCS. What do you see as your

main responsibilities?

I see my main task as being the overall

running and setting the overall trajectory

of our faith-based school. But really it

is the health of the school. We’re not

just any old school, we’re a Christian

school which means you’re looking at a

Christian community inside and outside.

It’s the spiritual component that changes

the whole game.

One of the biggest delights and biggest

challenges is that we have such diverse

4 | Knox News - December 2021

types of Christians at the school. I

see how narrow the door is, as Jesus

said, but how wide open the door is

because there are so many different

representations of Jesus here within our

community. These are people who are

true followers of Christ, but who come

from very different traditions.

Sometimes within those traditions there

are different viewpoints. And that can

be everything from how to raise a child

to baptism. There are many varying

opinions and as a superintendent of

a Christian school I very much feel

humbled in recognizing that I don’t have

a perfect view. Rather, what I do is I very

much feel that I need to respect the

people of God and to hear their voices.

So, I see my role as listening profoundly

and deeply to those voices, supporting

staff in helping recognize that there will

be students who carry different voices

within their classrooms, and that those

need to be honored. And yet, as students

get older, we need to challenge them so

that they can be firm and strong in their

faith and then step into the world where

they can be effective.

One of my roles is connectivity to the

board, and I think it’s important to

say that a Christian school board is

vital, and the relationships between

the superintendent and the board and

the board chair are also vital. It helps

describe and prescribe a healthy running

of the school. We have a board that is

looking forward and seeking out what is

coming next. One thing I’ve been trying

to do is be very open with the board, talk

to them and let them know that I need

to lean into them, at times, for areas of

wisdom. Each one of them is there for a

reason, each one has a specific expertise.

Every day you spend time at both our

elementary and secondary campuses.

What do you love about each campus?

I love walking into the high school and

seeing and hearing and feeling the

intelligent buzz of activity. You will

see groups of organized kids heading

towards a club or to an event where,

for example, they are going to go out to

support people within the community

or farther afield. But you’re also seeing

a teacher working with a group of kids

on high level chemistry or mathematics.

You’re walking through the hallway and

you’re hearing music coming through

from the music room, as our students

are being challenged musically in band

or choir. There’s just this very beautifully

orchestrated sense of a wonderful noise

of intelligence, spiritual life education,

activity, and excited chatter. In the

Student Commons, you’re going to hear

foosball or ping-pong being played, both

things that I really love.

At the elementary campus, there is such

a beautiful sense of innocent education

and faith, and it’s lovely. Sometimes that

looks like a Kindergarten or Grade One

student stopping me in the hallway and

telling me, “I hope you have a good day.”

I love that. Among the staff there’s a lot

of playfulness, but there’s also a lot of

care and deep concern for one another.

Outside of COVID, you see a ton of

parent involvement, like parents reading

to kids in the hallways. It’s a constant

sense of parent buzz and interaction

with our students.

What are your hopes and dreams for

our school?

My hope is that our staff, our students,

and our administration are firm in

knowing who we are, and that our

culture and our faith are strong and

remain strong, no matter what the waves

that crash against us might be. This

means being alert and awake to that,

listening into what other schools are

experiencing or feeling, supporting one

another and doing as we were called to

do, which is to love one another deeply

from the heart. One of our mandates

is to support Christian families looking

for Christian education. That could

mean increasing the scope of how many

families we’re reaching at the primary

level. I think it also means to recognize

the differences within our school. We

have an elementary school and we

have a high school, but there’s a part in

the middle that needs a lot of support

and a lot of work. We have incredibly

dedicated teachers, but they need help

with a system that lets them do the work

they need to do.

You’ve got a great team supporting you.

I’m going to go through the entire team

and would like you to tell me what you

value most about each of them.

Kim Beunk, Vice Principal and

Primary Coordinator

What Kim brings to our team is

experience in understanding the child.

She knows how humans that are at

a very early stage of life think and

how they develop. That is absolutely

invaluable for areas such as our

admissions team and working with

new parents trying to figure out how

to do this whole thing called education.

The other thing that Kim brings us is a

tremendous sense of calm and wisdom

to our admin team. She’s a person that

I will frequently lean into to pray over

the admin team. She’s a pastor’s wife,

she’s been through it! She’s seen all that

you can see. To have her voice speaking

into our admin team is invaluable.

Kelly Blackmore,

Intermediate Coordinator

Kelly is a firebrand of education. She

is a person that has an insatiable

curiosity for how to move forward,

how we can increase what we have,

how we can become better than who

we are. And she takes it on herself the

most. She wants to make sure that her

own mind, her own person, her own

spiritual health are all growing in order

to help others. Her capacity for growth

and for finding and looking for areas

Knox News - December 2021 | 5

for us to grow is insurmountable. It’s


Lindsay Tafazzoli, Elementary

ESS Coordinator (Educational

Support Services)

I don’t know what I would do without

Lindsay. Lindsay is a person who is the

consummate professional of knowing

her field. Every detail that could

possibly be related to ESS, she either

knows or makes sure she knows who

she needs to know in order to know it.

Lindsay is profoundly sensitive. She is

sensitive to the needs of her team and

defends her team, which is wonderful.

Jacob Rogers, Vice Principal and

Elementary Site Administrator

In all my experiences of working in

schools all over the United States and

Canada, I have not yet met a person

like Jacob who has been able to step in

and learn the skills of administration

so quickly and so well. And who then

is willing to take on more. Here is a

person who understands elementary

school from Kindergarten through

Grade 6 at a profound level. He has a

deep faith that he expresses daily. He

is able to relate quickly to all staff and

students of all ages. Jacob is relied on

and greatly valued at the high school.

He goes over several times a month

where he meets with secondary staff

and administrators and he connects

with students. He has a heart for the

Grade 6 students that he hands over

to the secondary campus. He wants

to make sure that they are succeeding

and that they’re doing well. He’s

helping us develop new systems

that will make that an even better

experience for the incoming Grade 7’s.

Wendy Perttula, K-12 Director

of Curriculum

Wendy’s key role is to shepherd the

overall delivery of the K to 12 BC

Ministry of Education curriculum, but

also the Christian curriculum. It is an

enormous job. Curricula are never

static. And if it’s not changing here for

a year or two, it’s changing in the US

or it’s changing in Britain. You need a

curriculum director who knows what

the universities are doing, who has a

good sense of what we do, who knows

what our kindergarten students need to

know so that by Grade 12, they’re able

to step into what they need to step into

next. She has to look for areas that need

strengthening. Wendy is methodical and

she is a researcher and has an expansive

knowledge of K-12.

Adam Wasik, Secondary Principal

What Adam brings is integrity to the

professional role. Whatever emergency

is rising, which could be everything from

a fentanyl overdose outside on the street

to a teacher who has broken down in

tears due to stress, Adam is up for that

task. Not only is he capable of stepping

6 | Knox News - December 2021

in and dealing with scenarios, but that

he wants to. He has this lion heart. He

wants to make things better for the staff

and for the students. He is an incredibly

capable person and he also brings in a

wide, wide knowledge. Not only is he

good at being an administrator, but he

has an incredible knowledge in math and

sciences as well.

Jessica Duncan, Vice Principal, Junior

Grades (returning from a maternity

leave this December)

What Jessica brings to our team is

a nurturing heart. She’s taught at

both campuses and understands the

whole student. She really understands

the bridge between elementary and

secondary. She understands the fears

and confusion of Grade 7’s in particular.

We wanted her to be part of the team

because of how she connects with

her colleagues. In Jessica, you have

an administrator who gets kids, but

who also knows how to step alongside

a colleague to either support that

colleague or to build new programming.

Leanne Arevski, Vice Principal,

Senior Grades

Leanne hit the ground running. We

got the sense quickly that she was

very capable. She wanted to step

in with administration and she did

that immediately. She is systematic,

intentional and purposeful. When you

have a school that has many balls in the

air, she is a person that will create all the

different support points that she knows

needs to be in place for something to

be successful, both with the staff, but as

well as the whole system. And she’s done

that profoundly well.

Trish Joyce, Secondary ESS Coordinator

Experience, experience, experience

with a tremendous, great heart. Trish

understands her crew, but she also

understands the students. She has an

amazing relationship with Lindsay at

elementary, so she always knows who’s

coming into secondary and how she’s

going to support them. She’s often in

Adam’s office or my office advocating.

She strongly supports and advocates

for her students to get what her

students and her staff need.

To read the full interview with Dr. David

Ward, go to our website:



Left page: Elementary administrative staff - Kelly

Blackmore (top left), Jacob Rodgers (top right),

Kim Beunk (bottom left), and Lindsay Tafazzoli

(bottom right)

Below: Secondary administrative team (left to right) -

David Ward, Jessica Duncan, Wendy Perttula, Adam

Wasik, Trish Joyce, Leanne Arevski

Knox News - December 2021 | 7


By Arusha Vegt, Development Director

On a beautiful day in November, Class 9A was the first

class to set foot on our brand new rooftop, equipped

with badminton rackets, volleyballs and basketballs.

Some students enjoyed leaping on the huge tree stumps,

others started a game of pickup basketball and some

simply admired the view. In the coming weeks, lines will

be painted on the court surfacing, equipment storage and

additional seating will appear, and all students will be able

to enjoy this epic new space.

John Knox has been raising money for this space for the

past few years through our Fall Drive and Knox Walk

fundraiser and we are pleased to announce to you, our

families and supporters, that the space is complete and

ready to be used by students and classes. Thank you for

your faithful and generous giving!

8 | Knox News - December 2021


By Adam Wasik, Secondary Principal

“But ask the animals, and they will teach

you, or the birds in the sky, and they

will tell you; or speak to the earth, and

it will teach you, or let the fish in the

sea inform you. Which of all these does

not know that the hand of the Lord has

done this? In His hand is the life of every

creature and the breath of all mankind.”

Job 12:7-10

In the midst of his suffering, Job

reminds us that the Earth is the

handiwork of the Lord. If we look and

listen, we see and hear the goodness

and greatness of the Lord for it is

He who gives us life. At John Knox

Secondary School, “Encounter Days”

are an invitation to encounter the

Lord of all creation. Encounter Days

are an opportunity for students to

re-encounter each other and reform

friendships that may have been distant

over the summer.

During the first week of school,

our school ventured to Belcarra,

Port Moody. Since then, Belcarra

Regional Park’s name was changed to

təmtəmíxʷtən, pronounced Tum-tumee-hw-tun,

to better reflect its

history and to mark a milestone in

the ongoing collaboration between

Metro Vancouver and Tsleil-Waututh

Nation. We paddled traditional canoes

and learned about their culture in

an authentic way. Before we began

paddling, students were invited to

understand and respect the traditions

of our Indigenous guides. On the

water, we enjoyed the Coast Salish

tradition of story-telling and on land

students learned about the culturally

significant local forest plants that

were used as food, medicine, clothing,

and shelter. I was proud of our

students’ respectful curiosity, which

enabled us to learn more about

Canada’s Indigenous history, culture,

and perspectives. As we engage other

cultures and ways of understanding

the world with open minds and hearts,

we remain firmly rooted in the truth

of scripture and the love of Christ.

Back on land, John Knox students

were given time to reflect upon our

responses to some of the stresses of

the last year and what ways we feel

encouraged to change our lives in

the months to come. Afterward, we

continued our school community

building through fun team-building

activities hosted by Pinnacle Pursuits.

The following day sent students

around the Lower Mainland for grade

specific activities as a way to grow

and connect as a grade group. Grade

7’s enjoyed Dragon Boating on False

Creek, Grade 8’s went wakeboarding,

Grade 9’s went river rafting in

Chilliwack, Grade 10 students

went kayaking, Grade 11’s went

paddleboarding off Jericho Beach, and

Grade 12 students learned to sail.

The start of this school year has

been accompanied with a sense of

hope. It was a joy and a privilege

to be able to come together as a

school to celebrate. We more keenly

appreciate these opportunities to be

with one another after the challenges

of the previous year. As I witnessed

our students paddle across the bay

and play in the fields of Belcarra,

it filled my heart with joy to see

their happiness, exuberance, and

excitement to be together again. The

Lord’s presence and pleasure was

palpable. Like Job, our hope remains

secure in Him.


Below: Students paddling traditional canoes

Right page: Students work on building activity (top

left and bottom right), Grade 9 rafting (top right),

Grade 11 paddleboarding (middle right), students

paddling a traditional canoe (middle left), Grade 8

wakeboarding (bottom left)

Knox News - December 2021 | 11


12 | Knox News - February 2021


Left Page: Character Dress Up day (top left and bottom right), Students enjoying lunch outside (top right), Grade 12 students

(bottom left)

Right Page: Students waiting in line for the zip line (top left), The outdoor music wall (top right), Students enjoying lunch outside

(middle left), Grade 7 lockers (middle right), Students play Connect 4 during SOI (bottom left), Grade 12 visits Trinity Western

University (bottom right)

Knox News - December 2021 | 13



Every year we have many clubs that are run by staff

and students, covering a variety of interests. This

year we have 20 clubs, including clubs such as arts and

crafts, chapel, table tennis, gardening, music, math, and

photography and yearbook. In this issue, we wanted to

highlight three clubs and the work they have been doing.

bricks of Encouragement Club

by Annabelle Young, Summer Uy, and Odelia Lam, Grade 10

The excitement of a new school year is always accompanied

with the pressure of schoolwork, projects, and tests. In the

span of a six-hour school day, students rush from room to

room, frantically copying down notes, studying for exams, and

preparing for presentations. The school bathrooms are a place

where students take a minute to breathe in between classes. We

saw the school bathrooms as a prime opportunity to encourage

students through inspirational messages and posters, and from

there, the first idea for Bricks of Encouragement was born.

Bricks of Encouragement is a student-led club at John Knox

High School. Run by three Grade 10 students, our club

hopes that each small “brick” (posters, artworks, and weekly

challenges) can help to build up and encourage John Knox

students to cultivate a positive school environment centered

around building one another up.

Our club currently meets up every Monday during lunch in

Room 321. We welcome students from all grade levels to drop

in and volunteer for these projects! We hope that by the end of

this school year, the students of John Knox Secondary will have

adopted the habit of building each other up as second nature.


By Ethan Chan, Grade 9

Knoxvine is a junior student-led initiative that is designed

to help connect our school community. Once every two

weeks, Knoxvine will release a podcast episode detailing

news, reviews, and educational segments for the entirety of

the John Knox community. We seek to invite students from

all backgrounds onto our podcasts to develop their public

speaking skills and share their life stories.

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, many students including

myself have felt disconnected with friends and the school as

14 | Knox News - December 2021

a whole. Each one of us has our own stories and encounters;

some happy moments, also some scary and negative ones.

It is essential to be able to express ourselves and share with

others so that we know we are not alone experiencing the

same incidents. My team and I aim to link everyone together

regardless of different hobbies and passions, and foster a

stronger spiritual atmosphere within John Knox. As we move

through our high school years, we hope to include a variety

of friendly teambuilding events across different grades.

While there is a lot planned for our future, the Knoxvine is

committed to Connect, Inspire and Redefine our John Knox.

To listen to the KnoxVine podcast or to follow them on

social media, go to our website:


environment a better and cleaner place. Although our club

is fairly new, we have accomplished more than we thought

we were capable of. We collaborated with Knox Walk

and Edmonds Community School’s community clean-up

during the summer. We created Instagram posts related

to climate change, sustainability, and suffering children.

This September, we partnered with the school’s Garden

Club and held a school fundraiser to raise money to better

our school’s gardens. Together with the JKCS Garden Club,

students from all grades were able to get involved with

the improvement of the school’s landscaping. Additionally,

we are looking forward to our club members performing

monthly community clean-ups together around our area.

Our goal is for the younger generation to contribute to the

betterment of our environment. We want to inspire students

not only at our school, but expand our initiative to reach a

larger audience.

the acacia project

By Emily Xiao Grade 12, Christie Chen Grade 12,

Filbert Wu Grade 11

Over the years, we’ve noticed more garbage littered around

our neighbourhood and no one has cared to pick it up.

We wanted to start this initiative in order to make the


Left Page: Bricks of Encouragement club (left), The Acacia Project (right)

Right Page: The Acacia Project (top left), KnoxVine club (top right, bottom left), Bricks

of Encouragement club (bottom right)



By Adam Wasik, Secondary Principal

You shall treat the stranger who

sojourns with you as the native among

you, and you shall love them as yourself,

for you were strangers in the land of

Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 19:34

am very excited to begin our bicycle

I repair club in its new workshop

space this year. Students in the club

will learn how to repair bikes using

professional tools under the guidance

of a former industry expert. We will

use our skills to provide bicycles

to refugee families in our local

community, as part of our partnership

with Journey Home.

We are grateful to Cap’s Bicycle Shop

in New Westminster for facilitating the

donation of dozens of bikes for us to

repair and refurbish. Their partnership

and support have made this program

possible. Bicycles are ideal for new

families in Canada as they are an

inexpensive mode of transportation that

does not require insurance, licenses, or

fuel; with the added bonus of being a

great source of exercise and fun!

As the program grows and our

student-mechanics develop their

knowledge and skills, we hope to

raise funds and become a financially

sustainable, student-run program

by repairing community bikes and

selling additional refurbished bikes.

Through these experiences, bike club

members will learn the necessary

skills for potential employment in a

professional bike store.

Our bike repair club is just one way that

our students are growing in their gifts

and finding ways to use those gifts to

share Christ’s love. Currently, students

in Grades 7-12 are also participating in a

fitness challenge fundraiser for Journey

Home. Students at the secondary

campus have been learning about

refugees and their experiences, and we

are looking forward to hearing the story

of a local refugee from SE Asia at an

upcoming chapel.


Adam Wasik teaching students how to repair a bike in

the new bicycle repair workshop space

16 | Knox News - December 2021




By Arusha Vegt, Development Director

Intermediate music teacher Rosa

Ononeze has always loved music as

a way to worship God, contribute to

her community, and relieve stress. In

teaching students in Grade 4 through

6, she appreciates how excited

they are by the novelty of playing

instruments, and wants to build on

that excitement to give them the gift

of music that has been so vital in her

own life.

This year, Grade 6 students picked up

a band instrument for the first time.

Rosa noticed something unique to the

COVID-19 era that we are in, “Over

the past 18 months we’ve been taught

to keep our breath inside our bodies,

and so to go from that to taking a

big breath and releasing it has been

tough on the children. They have to

switch their mindset and know that

they are in an open and safe space to

do that.”

The band class has been especially

safe because of their unusually big

classroom: the sanctuary of the

church across the street! Rosa notes

that while there are some challenges

in using a non-classroom space for a

classroom (there are no whiteboards

in the sanctuary!), there are some

unexpected blessings. “The sound

is phenomenal!” Rosa explains.

“When they play and sing, the sound

reverberates around the room and

the students feel good about the

sound they are producing.”

The elementary Christmas concert

will be available as a video once

again this year, including musical

performances from all grades as well

as a special arts component.


Grade 6 band having music class at New Westminster

Christian Reformed Church’s sanctuary



By Yubin Kim, Grade 12 student

Imagine being forced to leave your home and country to

flee from danger and persecution. With your life and safety

threatened, you have to leave everything behind, having no

idea what’s going to happen. After arriving in another country,

you have to start all over— from finding a job and a place to

live, to learning a completely new language and making new

friends. Unfortunately, this is the sad reality of what millions of

refugees face every day and they are in need of great love and

support. As God calls us to serve others, we should open our

hearts to help refugee families who may be going through a

difficult transition.

This November, our school has been working closely with

Journey Home Community (JHC), a local organization that helps

refugee claimants arriving in New Westminster. These refugee

families have fled from violence in their home countries and

arrived in Canada, seeking safety and care. Throughout the

month, we have been fundraising for JHC and participating in

various activities to learn more about refugee families and work

towards welcoming these families into our neighborhood.

Recently, we held a Fitness Challenge at the Secondary Campus

to raise awareness about the refugee families who have had

to flee. Students from each homeroom class participated in 6

different physical challenges (sit-ups, push-ups, arms hang,

vertical jump, broad jump, and the shuttle run). In addition, our

school has been preparing to host a Christmas Festival for JHC

that is scheduled for later this month. This is an experience for

refugee families to connect with one another and get to know

Jesus. There will be food, skits, live music, and games prepared

and led by our Secondary Students and it is truly such a

blessing to see our school working together to support refugee

families in our community.

To view the fitness fundraiser video or to donate, go to:



Left Page: JKCS staff Sandra Chu, Leanne Arevski, and Josh Poon join students in

the Fitness Challenge (top left), JKCS staff Rebekah Loconte joins pull-up challenge

(top right), Sit-up challenge (bottom left), Push-up challenge (bottom right)

If you would like to help as well, please consider making a

donation to JHC. Please be praying for both the Christmas

Festival JKCS is hosting and for the refugee families.

Right Page: Sit-up challenge (top left, bottom right), vertical jump challenge (top

right), shuttle run challenge (bottom left).

Knox News - December 2021 | 19



By Christian Loro, Athletic Director

After a school year where sports

competitions were cancelled due to

COVID-19, everyone has been excited to

hear the welcome news that we can have

games again this year. There are a lot of

extra protocols to work through, from

provincial and regional restrictions, BC

School Sports, and individual schools,

but we are more than willing to navigate

through this complexity to have the

students competing again. Here are

some highlights from the secondary

athletics program:


This year we had the largest

participation we’ve seen for volleyball,

with enough students for 5 high school

teams. Two years ago, we only had

one team. The Bantam Girls team was

coached by Mrs. North. The girls were

excited, responsive, learned lots and

there was a great team atmosphere.

The Junior and Senior Girls teams

trained together, coached by the

passionate and competitive Mrs. Emry.

20 | Knox News - December 2021

The teams saw a big improvement in

court awareness and skill development.

The Junior Boys team worked really

well together, learning a lot in their

practices and games. We didn’t

expect a Senior Boys team this year,

but because of the interest, we were

able to form a team. Both teams were

coached by myself. In addition to these

five teams, we also put together two

Grade 7 girls teams and one Grade 7

boys team for the Christian Elementary

School Sports (CESS) Tournament.

Our two girls’ teams finished 1st and

2nd and played against each other,

with one team narrowly winning 31-29.

The boys’ tournament was held in

Abbotsford and was postponed one

week due to the flooding. Our team

finished 6th.


There were twenty students that

joined the Junior Boys soccer team

this year, who were coached by

Esteban Diet and Sam Masih and

sponsored by Mr. Friesen. The

team faced a challenging year,

predominately competing against

older and more experienced teams, but

they learned a lot from their coaches in

practices, gaining valuable experience

playing in games and tournaments.

aquatics team

The aquatics team practiced every

Friday morning at 6:30am at Edmonds

Community Centre throughout the

Fall. They were coached by Jaspect

McCoy and Jadon Tsang, both John

Knox alumni, and sponsored by Mrs.

Hwang, a parent and the librarian at

the elementary school. There were

lots of great swimmers this year, and

our young mixed medley relay team

qualified for the Provincials. Our team

finished 2nd in Girls 1A Aquatics and

2nd in Boys 1A Aquatics, just shy of

taking home two banners.

cross country team

There was a great group of students

that joined the cross country team,

who was coached by Mr. Banya, a new

teacher at John Knox. There were

many strong finishes at the track

meets, especially from the Grade 9’s.


This year we have five basketball

teams, with a Bantam Girls and Junior

Girls teams coached by Mrs. Northand

Mr. Carey, a Bantam Boys team

coached by JKCS parent Pastor Billy

Chiew, a Junior Boys team coached by

Mr. Pierre Amador, and a Senior Boys

teams coached by myself. We’re in

the full swing of things with practices

starting and planning for a Junior

Boys Knox Ball and Senior Boys Knox

Ball in December, and the Junior Girls

Knox Ball in January. The Knox Ball is

an eight-team tournament that John

Knox Christian School hosts and is a

highlight of our basketball season.


Left Page: Junior boys volleyball tournament (top

left), Bantam girls volleyball team (top right), Junior

soccer team (bottom left), Senior girls volleyball team

(bottom right)

Right Page: Grade 6 soccer tournament (top left),

Junior boy volleyball team (top right), Grade 6

girls cross country (bottom left), Aquatics team

(bottom right)



By Arusha Vegt, Development Director

Kristine Bernardino, from the JKCS

graduating class of 2020, shares

details about her life at UBC and

looks back at her transition from high

school to university.

You’re in your second year at UBC.

What are you studying?

I’m studying political science with

a minor in sociology. I hope to do a

year abroad and eventually work in

government or at an embassy after

getting a graduate degree.

Last year UBC was entirely online.

How was that?

Being entirely online was difficult

because there was no need to go

outside and it was hard to have good

study habits. We had to create an

online community, and now that we’re

in person you may recognize someone

from Instagram or Facebook and say,

“Oh, you’re a second year, too!” You don’t

really have that classic friend group

from first year because it was all online.

What do the faith-based clubs at UBC

look like?

There are thousands of clubs. It’s

insane. There are five different

Christian clubs. There are clubs for

everything and every religion.

Do you go to church near campus or

back to your home church?

The church I’ve gone to since birth is in

Vancouver so I can just take the bus. Or

I visit my parents overnight and go with

them on Sunday. My mom usually brings

me food to take back to my dorm.

Do you see fellow JK grads at UBC?

17 of the 26 people in my graduating

class went to UBC. We’re all in different

faculties but I see them all the time.

It’s the same group just at a different

school. I see a lot of 2021 grads, like

Sam Tso, around campus too.

How do you find UBC academically?

In the arts if you’re good at time

management, put the time in to work,

enjoy writing essays, enjoy reading

and enjoy the subject matter, it’s not

too hard, although it can get pretty

crammy at times.

When you look back at your time at

John Knox, do you think that John

Knox prepared you to go to university?

Yes. We talk about this so often. We

thought, “Oh, university is so hard!” but

now we say university is really easy.

For example, Kevin (Battilana) who is

at Sauder (School of Business at UBC)

already has two internships set up in

big accounting firms. Even he says it’s

not that’s hard. He says part of that is

because Mr. (Sergio) Brock (senior math

teacher) wasn’t big on calculators and

that really set him up for moving onto

university. It still can be hard, but the

workload is fine. I read more in Mrs.

(Rebekah) Loconte’s classes (senior

humanities teacher) than in university.

What else is surprising to you about

being in university after going to

high school?

At John Knox it was fun to have that

sense of community, but I realized that

community isn’t everywhere. It’s kind

of hard to find that small group. And it’s

hard to find that teacher connection.

Do you keep in touch with any

JK teachers?

I talk to them all the time! Mr. (Jaason)

Bennett (senior humanities teacher)

is the one that inspired me to go into

the program that I’m in now. I had an

interest in business because that’s

what my family does, but then I took

Mr. Bennett’s classes, like history

and socials and law, and thought, this

history and political stuff is where it’s

at for me. In my first year I emailed

Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Loconte all the

time when I didn’t want to do school

anymore. Mrs. Loconte was a big

influence too, with her courses on

ethics and philosophy.

What advice would you give to

students who are in grade 11 and 12

right now?

Take time to branch out and meet

different people, and learn to discern

who is going to be a good friend. In a

22 | Knox News - December 2021

big university there are a lot of different

people and you have to be able to

differentiate who is right for you.

to think, as in, here are some options

and theories, and you get to pick what

aligns with you best.

do matter, but it all came down to

whether you wrote your personal

profile well enough.

Did you find that John Knox was too

small? What difference did a smaller

school make?

JKCS doesn’t have a specific

denomination and that has been very

beneficial to us. Some other Christians

on campus have a narrower mindset.

Mr. (Juergen) Rose (retired senior

sciences Christian studies teacher)

and Mr. (Adam) Wasik (principal and

senior sciences teacher) were very

open. And I don’t mean in a progressive

way, like they were pushing a left or

right agenda. They just encouraged you

In high school, what did you learn

was most important when applying

to universities?

What really matters is the way

you write your personal profile.

The number of workshops we

had on writing your profile and

putting together our cornerstone

presentations, and the amount of

editing and peer editing we did

is what made all the difference.

I didn’t even include all of my

extracurriculars, they didn’t seem to

matter as much as I thought. Grades

What’s next for you?

I’m applying to go on an exchange

program for my third year, to the

Philippines, Spain or France. I’d like to

go back to the Philippines and learn

more of my language.


Kristine with the Filipino Club at UBC (top left),

Kristine with friends at UBC (top right), Kristine’s

kindergarten class photo at John Knox Christian

School (bottom)

Return undeliverable addresses to:

John Knox Christian School

8260 13th Avenue,

Burnaby, BC V3N 2G5



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