Candidate aims to fill void created by departing trustees

With two trustees having declared their intention to move on, there is guaranteed to be a pair of vacant seats on the SD67 school board when voting day comes around in November, and Cary Schneiderat wants to fill one of them.

With two trustees having declared their intention to move on, there is guaranteed to be a pair of vacant seats on the SD67 school board when voting day comes around in November, and Cary Schneiderat wants to fill one of them.

A lawyer and past-president of the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce, Schneiderat said he has the skills needed to join the school board, while having two children in school gives him a stake in the system.

“As a father of two children attending schools in the district, I have first-hand experience and understanding of the challenges facing the students, staff, administration and the board,” said Schneiderat. “I think of myself as a participating parent.”

Schneiderat said he has a long-term interest in education, including running for trustee in Winnipeg, before coming to Penticton. If he hadn’t been a lawyer, he said his other career choice was to become a teacher.

Having knowledge is the height of what a person can do, according to Schneiderat, who emphasizes the lesson to his children that knowledge stays with you always.

Schneiderat places particular emphasis on the public education system, which he feels is more balanced, incorporating academics as well as extracurricular activities, arts and vocational education. Of particular interest, he said, is the chance to work closer with the community, interacting with arts groups and the business community to further develop a form of mentorship program between the students and community.

“A better understanding of the options available to them in the real world setting can only help them with the difficult and important decisions they have before them,” said Schneiderat. “The relationships generated through such programs can also be lifelong assets to both the students and community.”

Larry Little, who is retiring from politics, and Tom Siddon, who announced his intentions to run for a seat on the regional district board, are leaving two seats vacant on the board of education. Along with Schneiderat, current trustee Shelly Clarke, former trustee Walter Huebert  and Tracy St. Claire have so far announced their intentions to run in the 2011 election.