The Coast News Group

Schneider wins final EUSD seat

ENCINITAS — Leslie Schneider has defeated Encinitas Union School District incumbent Patricia Sinay for the second and final seat available on the five-member board.

With less than 30,000 votes countywide remaining to be counted, Schneider’s lead of 516 votes is likely insurmountable, The Coast News has determined.

Sinay led the race on election night, but Schneider steadily closed the gap as the registrar counted mail and provision ballots before she finally took the lead two weeks ago.

Scheider joins Rimga Viskanta, who is currently the top vote recipient in the contested election, as the victors in the four-candidate race. Anne-Katherine Pingree, who campaigned with Schneider, finished in fourth place.

Schneider campaigned in tandem with fellow parentPingree on a shared platform of transparency and fiscal responsibility after following district affairs over the past two years and coming to the conclusion that the current school governance falls short in both categories.

Both came to prominence during the summer, when they spearheaded a protest over a proposal by the district to earmark $800,000 to save the district’s yoga-based health and wellness program, which had previously been paid for by large grants from a foundation.

The district ultimately adopted an alternative funding plan.

Schneider and Pingree made news when they each received a $10,000 campaign contribution from a wealthy parent, which is believed to be the largest contribution in the district’s election history and raised questions about the ethics of accepting unusually large donations in small down-ballot races.

Viskanta and Schneider join a board that includes longtime trustee Marla Strich, as well as Gregg Sonken and Emily Andrade, who were re-elected to second terms in 2014. Carol Skiljian, the senior member of the board, is retiring after her sixth term in office.


Concerned parent December 10, 2016 at 8:24 pm

They have been teaching science very well actually! The high caliber of teachers is the main reason eusd is highly regarded. $10,000 from a citizen is a lot by the way!!!! Sounds like you have been drinking the jump on the band wagon kool-aid! The main issue for me and many other parents with this now board member is the divisive attitude and mentality.

Elizabeth December 6, 2016 at 7:45 pm
Elizabeth December 6, 2016 at 7:33 pm

Concerned Parent: You are so silly. $10,000 is a nothing compared to private school. EUSD is so in need they have to infomercial by Larry King. THAT is money the district could have spent on students. I know they are currently rolling out Next General Science Standards. My question is what happened to the first generation? I guess this is good since they haven’t been teaching science for years. I suppose it’s the lack of funds? Keep drinking!

Concerned Parent December 4, 2016 at 9:57 am

Yes. The board and superintendent have done an amazing job. You and others who have issues need to complain to Sacramento for not providing funds for the enrichment programs. The $10,000 campaign contribution is ludicrous! Why didn’t that money go to a school instead! If we can help our local schools help with the lack of funds from the state, then we should. It should not go to someone who creates division!

Elizabeth December 2, 2016 at 6:24 am

I am sorry you fell that way concerned parent. I guess you believe the current board members are doing their elected jobs? Boards should bring balance. I just see them agreeing with everything Baird does. You should look up the Larry King infomercial Baird and district had made. A current teacher in the district told me about it and so many other money mishaps. These all take from student learning.

Concerned parent December 1, 2016 at 4:17 pm

A shame for Encinitas schools. Not the type of candidate that should be making decisions. Extremely disappointed!

Susan M. December 1, 2016 at 12:42 pm

This is great news for all parents in EUSD!!! Leslie Schneider will bring a parental voice to the board.

Watson December 1, 2016 at 12:22 pm

This news is music to many parents ears!!!! Sinay didn’t want to hear from those that disagreed with her ever! Finally, a board member dedicated to listening to families and constituents and bringing transparency back to the District!

elizabeth December 1, 2016 at 10:59 am

Thank you Leslie and Anne-Katherine for all your time, effort and energy. You two are amazing! This gives me hope for all the students in Encinitas.

Sj December 1, 2016 at 10:31 am

Outstanding! Schneider represents parents and promise of change for Encinitas schools!

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