5 notable alumni from Clarkson Secondary School in Mississauga

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Published March 28, 2023 at 9:26 am

shaun majumder
Photo via @shaunmajumder

In its more than 50-year history, many notable alumni have walked through the doors of Clarkson Secondary School.

Clarkson Secondary School, often thought of as a rival of nearby Lorne Park Secondary School, was built in 1969.

In addition to the traditional curriculum, Clarkson offers a French Immersion program, as well English as a Second Language, Specialist High Skills Major in Manufacturing, and elite athletic programs, according to a brief outline about the school.

The school is known for a strong sense of community and holds an annual fundraiser for Camp Oochigeas (now Campfire Circle), a camp for kids affected by childhood cancers.

Clarkson alumni have excelled in many fields including music, athletics, journalism and acting.

Here are five notable alumni from Clarkson Secondary School:

Phil X

Philip Xenidis, better known as Phil X, plays lead guitar for rock band Bon Jovi. Xenidis got a call to fill in for well-known lead guitarist Richie Sambora while Sambora “took care of some personal issues.” He played 13 U.S. shows of the 2011 Circle tour and stayed on after Sambora officially left Bon Jovi in 2013. He became a full member in 2016.

Although Phil X is listed as a Clarkson alumnus, he also reportedly attended Streetsville, Woodlands, and Erindale secondary schools.

phil xenedis

Barbara Turnbull

Barbara Turnbull was an 18-year-old student at Clarkson Secondary School when she was shot in a robbery in 1983 at the convenience store she was working at part-time. The injury left her paralyzed from the neck down.

She went on to journalism school at Arizona State University from 1987 to 1990, and became a well-known reporter for the Toronto Star. In 2015, Turnbull died from complications with pneumonia at 50 years old. She was named to the Order of Canada for her work with the Barbara Turnbull Foundation for Spinal Cord Research.

Brad Boyes

Born in Mississauga, Brad Boyes attended Clarkson Secondary School before moving to Erie, Pennsylvania.

He was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round, 24th overall in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. He played ring wing in the NHL for 13 seasons for seven teams from 2003 to 2016. His teams included the Boston Bruins, New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, St. Louis Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Florida Panthers.

brad boyes

Debbie van Kiekebelt

During her high school days at Clarkson, track and field athlete Debbie van Kiekebelt not only captured an arm’s full of Peel regional titles, but set records in several events, according to the Mississauga Sports Council. When she was just 17 years old, van Kiekebelt was chosen to represent Canada in the Pan-American Games in Cali, Colombia. Although she was considered a long shot, she won gold in the pentathlon. She was ranked seventh on the world list heading into the Munich Olympic Games in 1972 but didn’t bring home a medal.

van Kiekebelt went on to be Canada’s first female sportscaster, working for Citytv and NBC. She also was the host of her own television show on YTV. She was appointed to the Mississauga Sports Hall of Fame in 1977.

debbie van kiekebelt

Shaun Majumder

Although Shaun Majumder calls Burlington, Newfoundland and Labrador his hometown, the comedian actually spent most of his teens in Mississauga. He attended Hillside Senior Public School, and then Clarkson Secondary School after his parents moved the family when Majumder was 14 years old, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia.  It was at Clarkson where Majumder “first cut his teeth as a comedian during a talent show in the cafeteria.”

He got his start as a stand-up comedian and Majumder may be best known for his role on This Hour Has 22 Minutes, where he worked from 2003 until 2018. But he has a long acting career with roles in Harold and Kumar Go To White CastleThe Ladies ManPushing Tin and Purpose, according to IMDb.

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