FBLA dissolves for the 2018-2019 school year

The largest FBLA chapter in Washington state halts activities for the year, but remains hopeful about the future of the club.


Photo courtesy of Inglemoor FBLA

FBLA officers and members attend a club meeting on Oct. 15. “I don’t think any of us believed we would go from being the largest club at Inglemoor to not existing this year,” De Villiers said.

Despite the officer team’s months-long search for a new adviser, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), one of the largest clubs at Inglemoor, was unable to obtain an adviser and will no longer compete or meet as a club for the remainder of this school year.

“We knew that it would be a challenge to [find] an adviser this year because we were aware that FBLA in the past couple of years has gone through advisers at a more rapid rate than other clubs,” senior and Public Relations Officer Tom Mikolyuk said.

The need for a new adviser this year stemmed from the resignation of previous club advisers librarian Teresa McCausland and history teacher Timothy Raines last year in May. McCausland said the main reason she resigned was that she could not spend as much time on FBLA this year due to other commitments.

“The issue was time; I was always running from one thing to another and I wanted to be able to focus on fewer things as well,” McCausland said.

Since clubs cannot exist under the ASB sanctioned club guidelines without an adviser, according to ASB advisor and activities director Elizabeth Kowalski, FBLA officers attempted to recruit potential teachers eligible for the position at the start of this school year.

We started out with trying to find individual teachers that we liked and felt would be a good fit for the chapter,” senior and President Stefan De Villiers said. We [also talked with] Kowalski, placed ads in the teacher newsletter and sent emails out to teachers.”

Although De Villiers said the administration was helpful in the recruitment process, it was ultimately unsuccessful because most of the teachers already had a heavy class load, or they were not ready for the amount of commitment.

“When none of that worked, [the officer team] eventually decided it would be best to call it off for the year and start planning for next year,” De Villiers said.

De Villiers said this was difficult to accept because the officer team had high expectations for what FBLA was going to look like this year. The club had been continuously expanding since it was founded seven years ago and last year, it had a total membership of over 120 students. De Villiers and Mikolyuk said they could have easily reached that number again this year, had the adviser issues been resolved.

“The timing [of FBLA’s struggle this year] is unfortunate… because we were one of the most successful clubs in the entire nation,” De Villiers said. “We felt that FBLA was at a point where it could start building a legacy.”

When the cancellation of the club for this year was officially announced yesterday on the FBLA Instagram page, De Villiers said there was a mixed reaction from the members in which some people accepted it while others were disappointed. However, Mikolyuk said the news allowed him to reflect on what FBLA has meant to him over the years.

“FBLA is not only this big community and opportunity for networking, but it also allowed me to combine my interests in a way that few other opportunities I’ve had in my life have allowed me to,” Mikolyuk said.

As of now, the officer team plans to meet and discuss plans for next year. They are also communicating with other FBLA chapters about how to stay involved and they are working to provide educational opportunities for students.

“We are going to do the most that we can to make sure every single member can still get something out of FBLA this year,” Mikolyuk said.

To stay connected with FBLA throughout the rest of the year, join their Remind by texting @inglemoorf to 81010 or contact one of the officers.